Many other states are following suit with the California program and it is actually being found that air borne illness and hospitalization are on the decrease since the grading system was instituted and that the number of ‘A’ graded restaurants is on the increase. In Los Angeles you can visit this site to see the rating for any particular restaurant. An ‘A’ or ‘B’ is an acceptable grade in LA County. A ‘C’ gives you a bit of time to get your grade up before the next inspection. A ‘D’ or ‘F’ will close your business. I, for one have no problems with the health inspectors checking for proper temperatures, lack of infestation, proper storage methods, etc… Environmental health affects us all at a social level.
The following is a direct quote from the Retail Food Inspection Guide.
The goal of food inspections is to reduce those risk factors which contribute to foodborne illness. Environmental Health is required to use a grading system to indicate how well food service operators are fulfilling their responsibility in the prevention of foodborne illnesses. All facilities receive grades which are posted on the website. However, only those facilities located in cities that have adopted Ordinance #97-0071 or located within the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County are required to post the Grade / Score Card at the facility. The grade or score that a food facility receives reflects the conditions observed at the time of the inspection. Each food facility inspection begins with 100 points. As the EHS conducts an inspection, the appropriate categories in Section I – VI on the FOIR will be marked. The categories in Sections I and II and the subcategories in Section III have been assigned a specific point value based on the associated publichealth risk of the violation. This point value is deducted from the 100 points. To determine a facility’s grade; the EHS must first add all of the point deductions from the marked violation categories in Section I – II and subcategories in Section III. That total is then subtracted from the 100 points.
A grade card (A, B, and C) or a score card will be issued at the end of the inspection based on the remaining points:
- 90 to 100 points A Generally superior in food handling practices and overall food facility maintenance.
- 80 to 89 points B Generally good in food handling practices and overall food facility maintenance.
- 70 to 79 points C Generally acceptable in food handling practices and overall general food facility maintenance.
- 0 to 69 points Score Card Poor food handling practices and overall general food facility maintenance.
There are situations as determined by the EHS, where violations pose imminent health hazards that warrant immediate closure of the food facility, (e.g., sewage, no hot water, vermin, etc.). In those situations, the Public Health Permit will be suspended and a Notice of Closure * will be posted. This closure sign must remain posted until the facility permit is reinstated. This action does not affect the grade or score of the facility but is related to the conditions that warranted the closure.
Food Safety is not a matter of choice when you are serving the public or at least it shouldn’t be. Having a compromised immunity from Systemic Lupus and having spent so many years working in the industry attending classes and seminars I am very much aware and in tune to violations and just plain lack of responsibility. Both of which are running rampant here in this county in the north woods.