New York State has introduced a new letter rating system for its food safety inspections of retail food stores.
Starting January 1, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets began providing an improved notice of inspection to retail food store owners following their annual inspections, which will more clearly display if the retail food establishment complies with current laws and regulations.
The letter grading will help consumers better understand the sanitary conditions of the store and provide an opportunity for better education to store owners.
Following the Department’s sanitary inspection of the retail food store, the inspector will give the store an “A,” “B,” or “C” letter grade, which corresponds to the results of the most recent sanitary inspection.
- A – No critical deficiencies were found. (Food safety program in place is working.)
- B – Although critical deficiencies were found, they were corrected at time of inspection. (Room for continuous improvement)
- C – Critical deficiencies were found but were not or could not be corrected. (Need for immediate corrective action.)
The Department will require that the Notice of Inspection be posted in an obvious location near each public entrance to the retail store.
Consumers can also request copies of the inspection notice from the retailer.
Retail facilities face a $600 fine for not complying with the Department’s posting requirement.