NYC reforms restaurant inspection system following outcry

Less than a year after New York City’s letter grading system underwent a massive rehaul, the Department of Health and the City Council have announced further changes to the system.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the DOH announced that restaurants will see a nearly 25 per cent reduction in fines associated with inspections by the agency, bringing fines back down to they were before the grading system was adopted. Piggybacking on previous revisions, violations will be given fixed penalties, leaving out room for discretionary figures calculated by inspectors.

To further reduce violations during inspections, restaurants can “request a consultative, ungraded and penalty-free inspection to receive tailored advice about maintaining the best food safety practices at their establishment.” Restaurant owners had been hiring consultants to spot problem areas and ideally prevent fines during official inspections from the agency.

KFC fined thousands over food hygiene

The KFC double down sandwich may be all the rage among dieters and gluttons, but one outlet in London should pay more attention to food safety practices.

As a reminder, a U.K. court fined Kentucky Fried Chicken almost STG19,000 on Monday after a cockroach was found eating a chip in one of its busiest branches in Britain.

The insect was seen on a food dispensing counter near takeaway boxes and tongs used to serve chicken by an environmental health officer in a restaurant in London’s West End.

City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that during an inspection at the Leicester Square branch, the officer also saw a mouse, flies and dried chicken blood on the floor.

The Westminster City Council inspector also said there was no hand wash in dispensers in the food preparation area.