New York City Restaurants Get L.A. Style Health Dept. Letter Grade System
New Yorkers will begin seeing at their eateries what Angelenos have since 1998: letter grade placards by the Health Department. Starting this week, The Big Apple's 24,000 restaurants, from the pizza-by-slice joints to David Chang's Momofuku, are mandated to display their new Health Department rating designating whether their cleaniness deserves an A, B, or C.
Restaurant groups fought the move. Most worried that any establishment with a B or C would go out of business as customers flock to a competitor with an A rating; but public pressure ultimately won out. The LA Times reported the adoption of the L.A.-style system was to stem an increase in food-borne illness. It said "11,000 people go to hospitals in New York City for food-borne illness related to eating out, and that number is rising."
As qouted in the LA Times, David Chang, the Momofuku mogul himself, is taking the new system as a personal challenge. "It is our goal always to get an A," he said. "If we don't get an A, we fail."
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