An article in the Herald-Sun on Sunday about a restaurant in Cary, North Carolina receiving an “A” inspection rating despite several serious violations including roaches reminded me of an excellent blog I read back in January.
FiveThirtyEight blogger Brian J. McCabe noted that the new rating system in New York City is still “too coarse because it masks wide variations in the quality of restaurants receiving the same grade.”
His analysis of inspection data during the first five months of implementation during which time half of NYC’s 24,000 restaurants were inspected, concluded that “when you visit an A-rated restaurant, the odds are that it barely made the grade.”
To address the fact that not all A ratings are equal, McCabe suggests that communities shift from a three-grade system to a more familiar academic scale with A+, A, A- and similarly for B and C.
He notes that the more “nuanced grade system for restaurant inspections would provide far more precise information for consumers.”
For any government-hater who wonders why this matters, the Department of Health in NYC estimates that tainted restaurant food accounts for more than 10,000 visits to the emergency room and 5,000 hospitalizations a year.
Oh but I forget, a government-hater would blame the inspector or question the need for inspections all together.
McCabe’s full post is well worth a read and should be circulating through health departments and the NC General Assembly.
Click here for Durham restaurant ratings or change the county to bring up health inspection information on any restaurant in North Carolina. Click here for a complete list of Durham restaurants by district.