The best restaurants flaunt, rather than fear, inspection disclosure

Media outlets in New York and London-lite (the Ontario version) are clamoring for improvements in restaurant inspection disclosure.

The job is easier in New York, because, as reported by, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that beginning in July of 2010, restaurants in NYC will be required to display their health inspection letter grade so that it is highly visible to customers.

While gaining support from a number of people who believe the system will promote cleanliness and limit foodborne illnesses, many believe the system will be an unnecessary burden on the restaurant community. The following are reactions from managers and employees of several local restaurants.

Randy Richmond of the London Free Press writes that posting restaurant inspection results online will weed out unhealthy operations and protect the public, several local eatery owners say.

It would be better, though, if London could afford more inspectors to ensure more frequent checks, added one owner.

In New York, managers such as Elias Bourakac of Bully’s Deli said,

"I’m for it. The inspection goes through the Health Department. We passed it, we did very good. No problems, no violations."

Frank Berascha of Famous Famiglia said,

"We had almost 90 percent last year. Everything is perfect. I would have no worries."

In London-lite, the health unit is expected to announce Thursday that it will start posting inspection results online and that’s fine by restaurateurs contacted by The Free Press.

Vanessa Willis, co-owner of the Church Key said,

"I think that’s exactly how it should be done. I think the community has the right to know what restaurants are working properly and what ones are not."

Felipe Gomes, owner of Aroma said conscientious eatery owners spend thousands of dollars on equipment, supplies and training to keep operations safe and healthy, and those who cut corners should be exposed, adding, "You are dealing with the health and safety of people."