Should Restaurants Have to Post their Health Inspection Ratings?

It’s a Saturday night in Washington, the Capitol rotunda is in view, and you’re walking along the avenue, trying to decide where to eat.

Posted outside restaurants’ windows are menus, Zagat ratings and clippings of local newspaper reviews. What’s missing, says D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh, is information about the restaurants’ sanitary conditions.

Full article on programs to improve the transparency of restaurant inspections.

Comments (5)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    Intriguing concept. If firms have two or more less than stellar inspections, I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea that customers should be warned.

    I suspect the threat of mandatory disclosure might be more effective than the threat of forced (temporary) closure where the health department shuts down an eatery for a couple days to facilitate cleaning the kitchen.

  2. Liz says:

    What possible benefit is there for the consumer in hiding the inspection results. Why WOULDN’T I want to know?

  3. Virginia says:

    Pretty soon we’ll be getting all of that information on our IPhones anyway. You’ll be able to walk in front of a restaurant and instantly access all of its records.

  4. Brian Williams. says:

    In Washington, D.C., summaries of the health inspections are public record, published in the newspaper (sometimes printed right next to last night’s murders). Perhaps the D.C. Council should renew their Washington Post subscription.

  5. monkeywrench says:

    Either the restaurant passes muster or it doesn’t, so I don’t see the benefit of posting letter grades that distinguish levels of cleanliness in the kitchen. Such a system seems ripe for abuse by ambitious restaurateurs and corrupt inspectors.