Changes Proposed to Restaurant Grading - NBC Southern California


Changes Proposed to Restaurant Grading



    Change Proposed to Restaurant Letter Grading

    Los Angeles County says it will improve its restaurant grading system after the NBC4 I-Team exposed problems. Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015)

    For more than a decade, the NBC4 I-Team has been investigating Los Angeles County's restaurant grading system.

    Big changes were recommended for the food safety program Tuesday by the Interim Director of L.A. County’s Public Health Department, many of them addressing concerns that the I-Team investigations raised.

    In May, an investigation revealed how the public is rarely told about foodborne illness outbreaks. In fact, more about those outbreaks could be gleaned from websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor than from county health officials.

    When questioned about the lack of transparency back in May, Angelo Bellomo, who supervises the county’s food safety program, said there were ways that officials could improve the system.

    Social Media Exposes Dining Dangers

    [LA] Social Media Exposes Dining Dangers
    Consumers are using social media — like Twitter and Yelp – to expose and uncover possible food poisoning at restaurants, the NBC4 I-Team has found. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
    (Published Wednesday, May 20, 2015)

    "We could be doing a better job in many areas,” he said.

    The proposed changes to the county’s restaurant grading system would address many of the existing shortcomings that have been the focus of NBC4 reports over the years, including:

    • Preventing a restaurant from receiving an “A” grade if they receive two major violations during an inspection.

    • The online disclosure of all restaurant closures and those restaurants believed to be associated with a foodborne illness.

    • Revoking more restaurant permits for businesses with “chronic unsafe practices.”

    The changes to the food facility grading system were included in a memo sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and obtained by the I-Team.

    Public Health plans on implementing these changes immediately and say they will work with the Board of Supervisors if any laws needed to be revised.

    You can check the inspection reports of your favorite restaurants by visiting the L.A. County restaurant inspection database here.

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