By; Alai Qudus
Have you ever questioned yourself as to what it means when a restaurant is obligated to plaster a sheet of paper with the letter A on their walls? Or as to why the local fast food chain may not have an A, but rather a C plastered on that sheet of paper? If you haven't prior to this article, it might be time to start questioning what these letters represent.
In the United States, all restaurants undergo required health inspections through their corresponding state in order to ensure proper food handling as well as maintaining overall cleanliness. The type of inspection varies depending on the type of establishment. So depending on whether the premise is a restaurant, a caterer, or other food dispenser, the inspection’s basis will differ . However, more importantly, it is the frequency of inspections that should be of concern to customers and consumers.
An establishment that tends to have more frequent inspections should be of significance to a customer as it signifies that there is a level of concern with the establishment’s cleanliness . There are five levels of risk, and the higher the risk of an establishment, the less secure it is in terms of their handling and cleanliness . As a result, they are faced with more frequent inspections. The importance of the random inspections for high risk establishments is to ensure the well-being of the general public.
Although the general guidelines established by each state for these grades are very similar, it is important to understand that a C grade given to a restaurant is simply due to minor faults-- nothing major. However, the general public tends to fail to recognize that the importance of the inspection isn't necessarily the overall grade, but rather the minor violations that are noted on the inspection sheet.
It would be advantageous and ideal to have the actual flaws of a restaurant presented before us with an initial grade. Because this is not the case, regardless of the grade, it should an incentive for a member of the public to read up on as to why the establishment received that grade. The incentive not only allows us to be consciously aware of errors, but it also confirms any skepticism we may have concerning the cleanliness and care being provided by the establishment.
1. "LA County Public Health - Environmental Health." LA County Public Health - Environmental Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.
2. "Restaurant Health Inspections: How to Make the Grade." Menu Covers. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.
3. Baer, Stephanie K. "What That Restaurant Letter Grade Isn’t Telling You about Health and Cleanliness." What That Restaurant Letter Grade Isn’t Telling You about Health and Cleanliness. N.p., 25 June 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.