NYC Health Dept. Launches Restaurant Cleanliness Certificate
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden announced the launch of the “Golden Apple” award, which city restaurants can display when they have met exemplary standards of cleanliness and quality assurance. Look for the Apple at your favorite restaurant.
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May 15, 2004
In Los Angeles, restaurants are given a health inspection grade, from A to F, which must be posted in clear view so that customers can see before they decide to sit down how clean the restaurant has been kept. In New York City you may only know about restaurant cleanliness after your favorite place has been shut down by the Health Department.
Now, with the launch of the City’s Golden Apple program, restaurants with exemplary cleanliness records can display this fact to prospective customers. The program does not include any negative sanctions or additional requirements, only allowing restaurants that have maintained a good record to let people know about it with the posting of a Golden Apple decal in their windows.
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, who has spearheaded a rapid and significant expansion of the Department’s role in preventive health, announced, "The Golden Apple will recognize establishments that uphold the highest food safety standards and will serve as an incentive to others to make New York City's restaurants not only the best in the world but also the safest. We hope that, eventually, many of the City's restaurants will display the Golden Apple decal in their windows."
To receive the right to display the Golden Apple decal in their storefront, restaurants must meet the following four criteria:
1. Hold a valid DOHMH permit and have no outstanding fines;
2. Employ a supervisor or manager who has completed the basic DOHMH Food Protection course or an approved equivalent;
3. (a) Employ a supervisor or manager who takes the DOHMH Quality Improvement Food Protection Course, OR, (b) Demonstrate quality improvement/quality assurance measures that have been in place for the last 12 months;
4. Have passed two consecutive annual inspections with no critical violations and fewer than four general violations (no more than 8 points deducted).
In 2003, the Health Department implemented a scoring system for restaurants to prevent food-borne illness in the city’s restaurants. On the Department’s website, users can search for all permit-holding restaurants in the five boroughs to find out whether they have passed inspection and what specific health concerns were addressed following the last inspection. Full reports on individual restaurants can be obtained from the Department of Health by calling 311.
“HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES "GOLDEN APPLE" AWARD FOR RESTAURANTS WITH SUPERIOR FOOD SAFETY,” The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
“Restaurant Inspection Information,” The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
“Establishment Rating List,” Los Angeles Department of Health Services