Restaurant Law Blog

Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Distract People from Noticing that ‘C” Grade you Received from the Health Department.

I was recently walking on the Upper West Side and noticed this creative attempt to disguise the ‘C’ Grade received by a local establishment.  Creative…yes, but effective, I’m not so sure.  Two days later the children’s drawings were removed leaving one to ponder whether the DOH stepped in.  

As of today, there are 2,786 restaurants in New York City with a Grade C.  169 establishments are closed for critical violations.  Having reviewed countless violations for my clients, it would appear that there is no uniform application of the Health Code.  Many violations are cited without suitable grounds in an apparent attempt to punish otherwise compliant establishments.  That is not to say that all, or more than a few DOH health inspectors are harassingly aggressive when issuing citations.  The ABC grading system was established (in part) to curb corruption.  Health inspectors now rotate and attempts to financially influence inspectors seems to be declining.  The result, more thorough inspections and an increase in the number of ‘C’ Grades issued.  Those earning a ‘C’ Grade are subject to frequent follow-up inspections.   With so much focus on DOH inspectors these days it should come as no surprise that follow-up inspections rarely result in a clean bill of health.  Has the fear of being perceived as ‘on the take’ caused inspectors to become hypervigilant?

James DiPasquale, Esq

DIPASQUALE LAW GROUP

 Restaurant Law New York 

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