Matt Rocheleau of the Boston Globe reports that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is asking the City Council for approval to fine restaurants $300 per day if they fail to post their food safety inspection letter grades in their storefronts.
Restaurants and food trucks would have a year to comply after the launch of the letter-grade system being developed for restaurants citywide, though the grades would be available on the city’s website.
The city’s Inspectional Services Department has been developing the program. Officials there have said restaurants would receive either an A, B, or C grade.
The program would resemble rating systems that New York, Los Angeles, and other cities have been using since as early as the late 1990s. Locally, Newton launched a similar program in the fall that requires numerical ratings to be displayed inside restaurants.
Boston officials have previously told the Globe that letter grades will be issued to all of the city’s roughly 3,000 food establishments, including restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias, and other food vendors.
When an establishment gets a low grade, inspectors will return within 30 days to reinspect, city officials have said. If the violations are corrected, the city would bump up the grade accordingly. If the issues remain, the grade would stand until the next routine inspection, officials have said.
Restaurants would be subject to the $300 fines if they fail to post their letter grades “immediately after receipt, unobstructed, at eye-level, facing outward on an exterior-facing wall or window within five feet of the main entrance in the interior of the restaurant,” according to Walsh’s proposal to the council, which was previously reported on by the Universal Hub website.
The council is due to take up the matter at a meeting in City Hall on Wednesday.
The new rating system would not cost the city any extra money, city officials have said, because it would calculate grades based on the existing system used to inspect restaurants.