CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County health officials could soon be serving up some changes to the restaurant grading system.
Health officials are expected to take a closer look at the ABC grade system for retail food facilities after reportedly finding restaurants with as many as two major violations were still receiving an “A” grade.READ MORE: Daina Monroe, 18, Shot And Killed Outside Her Inglewood Home Monday, Police Searching For Gunman
A review of inspection data also found restaurants that were temporarily closed or had their permits suspended most often had an A or B grade, according to the Daily News.
The county currently utilizes both a letter-grading system and a Pass/Fail system to grade restaurants on their health and sanitation practices.
Facilities that receive an A grade are considered to be “generally superior in food handling practices and overall food facility maintenance” by the county. Restaurants that fail to notch a C grade are assigned a number score from zero to 69.
“I do pay attention to them. I do feel like the letter grade is an important factor in a restaurant,” said Orlando Milan, a Studio City resident.
San Diego and San Bernardino counties are among those in California which use an ABC grading system.
But after this review, officials say the rating system may actually mislead people about actual operating conditions in the food preparation areas. It could also allow many places to stay in business despite major health threats.READ MORE: New Earthquake Research Unveiled On Great ShakeOut Day
The 17-year-old program was born as a result of a hidden camera report by CBS2 News that uncovered violations of state mandated laws. As a result, Los Angeles County implemented a point-based system.
But on Thursday, the Department of Public Health submitted a preliminary report to the Board of Supervisors to point out some inconsistencies.
“So the inconsistency is that a restaurant that gets an A grade may have just been closed due to a major violation or two,” Angelo Bellomo of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.
Examples of major violations that could cause a closure would be a rodent infestation or not having hot water to clean. Each carries a four-point deduction. However, that would still leave a restaurant with a score of 92 and worthy of an “A” grade.
“One of the potential changes the program is to ensure that if there are two major violations, that there is no way that the restaurant can earn an A,” Bellomo said.
Some diners say they use social media to help them to figure out if a restaurant meets their standards.
“I mainly do my research before I go into a restaurant so I check out the vibe, the photos, and reviews,” said Linda Wartanian, a Porter Ranch resident.MORE NEWS: Chris Taylor hits 3 HRs, Dodgers beat Braves 11-2 to extend NLCS
Over the next 30 days, the Department of Public Health is working to get recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on whether or not to alter the grading system. The goal is to provide restaurant-goers with information that’s easier to digest.