Should Inspection Grades Be Displayed In Restaurants?

This USA Today article asks an important question about restaurants that we visit and the factors that influence the choice that we make – whether information about the restaurants’ sanitary conditions should be displayed there, right along with the Zagat ratings and positive newspaper reviews.

It may just be a good idea to have the restaurants display a letter grade based on the most recent health department inspection that the particular establishment was subjected to.

In parts of the country this is already a practice, with restaurants putting such information about sanitation online or displaying letter grades, numerical scores or color-coded decals visibly in their eatery.

This helps to make the consumer become part of the inspection force in a sense, and could also help to control food borne illnesses, about a half of which originate in restaurants or similar settings.

It isn’t just the fact that such displays would help people make informed choices about the establishments that they choose to give patronage to; it can also be very useful information if a consumer is aware of a few little details such as : is the meat in the restaurant’s stores stored at the right temperature or how many roaches did the health inspector find here the last time he visited?