New grading system for Albany County restaurants

BY TARYN FITSIK

ALBANY, N.Y.–It's a whole new way to grade, not for schools, but for Albany County restaurants.

Beginning July 1st, the results of Albany County Department of Health inspections will be required to be posted where it will be easily seen by customers walking in.

The ratings will be listed as excellent, good or fair, the results of inspections have always been posted on Albany County's website, but now they will be in plain sight whenever someone walks into a restaurant.

One restaurant owner News 10 spoke with says there is some cause for concern, if a restaurant gets an inspector who is difficult.

“It's very subjective,” says Brad Rosenstein.

Rosenstein is the owner of Jack's Oyster House in Albany, a restaurant which has been open for 99 years, and has been through thousands of inspections.

Rosenstein says while he believes the changes made to the county's inspection system were thoughtful, he doesn't see a need for change.

“I think we had hoped they would keep it the way it was,” he says.  “The department of health does a great job inspecting all of our facilities, and the system worked so well.”

But beginning July 1st, the system will be different.

Each restaurant in the county will be required to post this sign in a front window, door or outside wall where it is easily seen by people passing by.

Albany County legislator Christopher Higgins was one of the main proponents of the new law, saying the idea is to give consumers as much information as possible when they go out to eat.

“We've had some issues in Albany County with the cleanliness and sanitary conditions in some of these restaurants, and people have a right to know.”

Rosenstein says the concern for every restaurant is if the inspection is listed as excellent, their business could be in jeopardy.

 “It's just another law to work with, and we'll do the best we can.”

Higgins says restaurants always have the option to ask for a re-inspection if they are not happy with the original inspection report.

 

 

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