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Health Department Revising Restaurant Ratings

The Louisville Metro Health Department is making some adjustments to the letter systemit uses grade sanitary conditions at the city’s restaurants and other food facilities. The changes go into effect September 1st. Department environmental health administrator Connie Mendel says places that receive an inspection score of 85 or above with no critical violations will still receive an “A” grade.Critical violations are conditions that are likely to cause food-borne illness."Basically a ‘B’ is for facilities that have failed two regular consecutive inspections or they’ve been closed for imminent health reasons. So basically those ‘B’ facilities are under administrative review," Mendel said. A “C” is given to a facility that has failed its most recent inspection due to score below 85 or a critical violation. They’re given a follow-up inspection within ten days.Mendel says the letter grade placards also contain more information for consumers, including past inspection scores. The system was changed to bring it into alignment with Kentucky’s new Retail Food Code.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.