Do So Many Restaurants Really Deserve The A Grade?

by Sun Kersor · January 20, 2011

Chances are you've seen nothing but boastful A's on restaurant windows these days, because the ones that didn't earn top marks are withholding their posts pending further review. But even the health code top mark may be misleading.

As the Times notes, FiveThirtyEight's Brian J. McCabe found that more than a quarter of restaurants were just teetering on the edge of a B with 12 or 13 violation points (with 13 or fewer as the cut-off requirement for A grades).

Apparently four times as many restos got hit with 11,12,or 13 points that 14, 15, or 16 points meaning that a significant portion of A-scoring joints barely deserve that distinction.

You might eat your meal a little less easily knowing your restaurant of choice may have but slipped by in its top-rated cleanliness. The broad letter categories do not, it seems, express the nuances of the quantitative figures.

Naturally, the alphabet-shy offenders with lower grades, may be able to earn a more venerable distinction by making ends meat.

[Alphabet-Shy Restaurants: "The Filthy 15"]

[Image via Huffington Post]