Hawaii state food inspectors are proposing a new grading system for the new year, which will use placards in restaurant windows to notify diners about the restaurant’s latest inspection results.
For future reference, Green means go, Yellow means caution, and Red means Closed due to immediate and urgent health concerns. Simple enough, yes?
Apparently, it is simple enough for the Hawaii Restaurant Association, whose members have decided to support the new system. It’s not merely as revealing or “judgmental” as systems used in other areas: in New York City, restaurants get a letter grade. (Would you want to eat at a restaurant that earned less than an A?)
According to Hawaii News Now, there are some concerns about the new system. For one, many restaurant owners are concerned about getting a yellow card on a Friday, or right before a holiday weekend. What could happen to their businesses in the time between when they get the card and when the inspector comes back to reinstate their good standing?
None of these grades mean that the restaurant has never had a violation. Green means the restaurant has had 0 to 1 violations, which have been fixed. Yellow means there have been two or more violations, which has yet to be fixed. Red means the inspector shut the place down.
It’s not as punitive as it could be, and it doesn’t say anything about the restaurant’s history, like other systems do. Even so, it’s better than nothing. Restaurants who are compliant and careful won’t be affected one whit — and might even get a boost, if their neighbors are sporting yellow passes.
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