PEARLAND, Texas – In Pearland, a brand new ordinance designed to protect restaurant patrons has just gone into effect and is changing the look of the entrance to every eatery in the city.
Starting this month, officers with the Pearland Code Enforcement Department which operates under the fire department and is charged with inspecting restaurants, are now giving letter grades to each of the city’s more than 380 restaurants and then publicly posting those grades right in the front window.
“The public can get a clear sense of the cleanliness of a restaurant, where they go every day, where otherwise, they would have not seen that before”, said Rance Rhame, code enforcement supervisor.
The restaurant inspections are conducted the same way they always have been with health inspectors checking everything from refrigerator and cooler temperatures to food freshness, to insect and rodent problems, to kitchen cleanliness and of course the constant search for slime and bacteria in the ice machines and soda machines.
When inspectors find a violation they order it fixed.
But with these new posted letter grades, officials believe restaurant owners will be under far more pressure to keep their businesses safe and clean.
“It gives restaurants more incentive to continue best practices, to keep the restaurants clean, to maintain that level, because they have to look at that grade when they walk through the door everyday,” said Joshua Lee, city of Pearland communications director.
How do the grades work?
- An A-grade means the restaurant has scored 92 to 100 points and is superior in food handling and overall food facility maintenance.
- A B-grade means a score of 84 to 91 points and is good in food handling.
- A C-grade means a score of 76 to 83 points and says the restaurant is acceptable at food handling and overall food facility maintenance.
- Anything lower than a C-grade and no grade is given whatsoever.
Instead a numerical score is posted, 75 or below, and that indicates this establishment has had multiple problems it has been ordered to correct.
If restaurant owners refuse to post those letter grades at the front of their eateries or worse take them down, they will be ticketed by the city.
For more information on the ordinance, click here.