Visitors to New York are used to seeing placards in the front windows or on the doors of restaurants with a letter grade issued by the department of health. If the restaurant doesn’t have a large, blue A, many diners will simply pass it by. A B or lower (higher?) is considered a failing grade. (And most won’t consider a “grade pending” notice on an established restaurant because that usually means it has failed an inspection and is awaiting a do-over.
Now, a group of restaurateurs has initiated a program that would put a new sign in the window, one that attests that the establishment is following stringent sanitation and distancing guidelines.
Those standards are set up by the nonprofit’s organizers and, they say, offer clearer standards than what the government lays out.
Safe Eats is the name of the organization and it what is displayed on the sign, in white and blue that is similar to the letter grade’s color.
The organization, according to a story in the New York Times, charges restaurants $69 a month to join and provides the owners with advice, training and updates on regulations. The owners sign a Safe Eats pledge to follow all the rules the organization sets out.
The only problem: Unlike the letter grade from the health department, compliance of the guidelines is not backed up with inspections. Certification is a goal, one organizer said, but for now the consumers just have to trust the restaurant staff to follow the rules.
Safe Eats is currently only in New York City restaurants but the organizers hope to expand it to other cities.
Would a Safe Eats sign in a Central Florida restaurant’s window put you at ease?