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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2020 10:25 AM
From: Representative Joe Ciresi
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Providing for the Posting of Restaurant Letter Grades
Each of us would like to know that the restaurants we dine in prepare our food in a safe and sanitary manner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Currently, in Pennsylvania, if a restaurant receives a violation as a result of a food inspection, the results are posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website. However, potential customers may not realize that a retail food establishment has received a violation without a considerable amount of research. I feel that this is unacceptable and that a better, more effective method of alerting the public would be to enact legislation that would provide for the posting of an inspection-based restaurant letter grade (A, B, C, etc.) in a location that is visible to the general public and patrons prior to their entrance into an establishment.

New York City, among other major cities and states, already provides for an inspection-based restaurant letter grading system. In those jurisdictions, inspectors check for food handling, food temperature, personal hygiene, facility and equipment maintenance, and vermin control. Each violation found denotes a certain number of points. The total number of points from an inspection is a restaurant’s inspection score; the lower the number/score, the better. The range of scores corresponds with letter grades. The legislation that I will be introducing would amend Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to provide for a similar restaurant letter grading system.

I believe that we should provide Pennsylvania consumers with the information they need to make better informed decisions relative to their dining options. I hope you will join me in support of this important measure.

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