Some Baltimore Restaurants Are Resistant to Letter Grades

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City Councilman Brandon Scott is trying to bring Baltimore in line with nearly every other major city in the United States by making health-inspection data for local restaurants searchable online and posting letter grades in windows. And the Restaurant Association of Maryland isn’t into it.

The association’s vice president Melvin R. Thompson doesn’t support what he calls an “unfair, subjective, confusing and potentially costly letter-grading system with no quantifiable public health benefit,” according to the Baltimore Sun. Thompson told the City Council’s Health Committee he saw no reason for a tiered grading system: “Either a food service facility is safe enough to remain open or it is not, period.”

(Scott disputes the notion that there is “no quantifiable public health benefit,” pointing to a 14-percent drop in salmonella infections in New York a year after implementing the grading system.)

Sofi’s Crepes owner Ann Costlow believes a single letter grade isn’t useful for patrons because it doesn’t bear any information about what was actually at-issue during an inspection.

Antonino “Nino” Germano, owner of La Scala, has no problem with letter grades, but would prefer if the Health Department focused on “the little corner stores,” instead of restaurants like his.



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