Today, NYC.gov released an iPhone app that lists inspection results for all 24,000 restaurants in New York City, making it easier than ever to avoid food poisoning from crappy restaurants.
App users can search restaurants by name, neighborhood, or current location to discover the letter grade assigned by the Health Department. The letter grade program began in July 2010 to assess the sanitary conditions of NYC kitchens, with ratings ranging from A, meaning excellent, to C, meaning close to being condemned.
The city government also released a study revealing the program's positive results:
1) Kitchens across the city are cleaner. As of the end of January, a record 72% of restaurants were posting “A” grades in their windows.
2) New Yorkers overwhelmingly approve of posting the grades – by 91%, according to a Baruch College survey – and use it to make decisions about where to dine out.
3) Business is booming; restaurant revenues increased 9.3% during the first nine months of the program, compared to just 2.7% in the previous year.
4) Here is the most encouraging sign of all: Over the past year, the number of cases of salmonella infection, the best marker for food-borne illnesses, has dropped to a 20-year low.
As the website states, the proof is in the pudding. And Brian Williams' coffee tasted just a little less like rat poop, today.