Friday, May 1, 2009

Restaurant Closings and Violations


Amidst several recent local restaurant closings by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene I was prompted to check out their website which lists all local restaurants and their past inspection details. Each establishment's report features a number which is the total amount of violation points that the particular restaurant obtained at last inspection. The higher the number, the more and more serious violations that establishment incurred, the lower that number, the lesser and less serious amount of violations that establishment incurred. Most restaurants receive the report and either fix the problems on the spot or are ordered to do so. Other restaurants have such serious violations that the restaurant is immediately closed. The average violation points a restaurant receives in NYC is 16 and normally the restaurants in this range have incurred violations for issues that are less gross or pertinent to actual food quality and safety such as "
Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained." But in many cases the violations are pretty gross and do directly relate to the quality and safety of the food we are consuming there such as "Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility's food and/or non-food areas." For Kew Gardens and Forest Hills restaurants several have average violation scores, several have below or very below(very good) ( The Village Diner has 0!) and a majority have higher (worse) violation point scores. To see the inspection reports for area code 11415 click HERE. For 11375 click HERE. 

Obviously, running a restaurant is not an easy job and there are areas that many restaurants get cited for that are difficult to manage or even notice. BUT, as seen from several examples on the above lists there are busy restaurants that have very low scores, 0 - 5 violation points, which shows that it is certainly possible and feasible to fully comply with the DOH standards. We are not suggesting that anyone boycott the restaurants with high violations, eat wherever you like, but we are encouraging local restaurants who have had higher scores to, first, get your act together, and second, write to us here and let us know how you are working to lower those scores and what exactly your business has done since the last inspection to combat the problems. We will gladly post your statement here for all of your customers to read.  

We eat at local restaurants very frequently and we talk to a lot of people here who do as well. The community really wants good quality restaurants here and will support them. But if restaurant owners are not willing to keep up the set standards then we want to let everyone know who those restaurants are so our money is better spent at an establishment who appreciates its customers and shows it by keeping their business up to the standards set by the DOH. Ideally, I would like to see a "Golden Apple" in the window of all of the restaurants I eat at. - See information on the Golden Apple Program HERE. 

2 comments:

  1. Nice to see that Baluchis on queens blvd scored 40 pts- Ive had a decent time there, and the food was pleasant.

    Come on guys! When I went there it wasnt very crowded, and when I walk by its never crowded.
    You'd think they could keep conditions a little more sanitary, esp if the staff has some time on their hands.

    This is upsetting b/c I like Indian food and Baluchis is pretty close. My favorite Indian restaurant used to be Surya in the west village, but then they racked up 47 violation points. Surya recently retook & "passed" the test by racking up "ONLY" 20 pts-. Thats half of Baluchis but im not rushing to go back there either.

    The fact remains that the last 2 indian restaurants Ive been to have each earned 40+ pts. ridiculous!

    My only hope is that small spot next to the post office can come through.

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  2. Have you been to the one by the post office? I havent but it always smells good when I walk by!

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