Requires the department of health to post inspection results of public food service establishments on the department's website for the most recent three years; includes exemptions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring public food service establishment inspection results to be posted on the department of health's website and authorizing the establishment of a letter grading system to classify inspection results
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To require the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to make available on its website all public food service establishment inspection results for the most recent three years and to establish a system for granting the inspection results.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the Public Health Law to require the DOH to make available on its website all public food service inspection results for the most recent three years. If a county department of health or local board of health maintains a website, it shall post a link to the department's website where the food service establishment inspection results are available.
This section further provides that the commissioner shall establish a system for grading inspection results fox public food service establishments, which uses the letters A, B, C or D. The department may make available on its website the corresponding letter identification for all public food service establishment inspections.
A city with a population over one million, with its own health or sanitary code, that establishes, enforces and maintains its own system of scoring and grading inspections of food service establishments within its jurisdiction shall be exempted from the provisions of this section. It is understood, that this bill, if enacted into law, does not curtail the ability of a county health department to establish its own restaurant grading system.
Section two provides the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The DOH is charged with inspecting and supervising all public places in New York in which food is prepared, sold or served, including restaurants and cafeterias. Inspectors from local health departments conduct unannounced inspections of food service establishments to evaluate the safety and sanitation of the premises, and monitor food handling practices to ensure adequate compliance with state and local laws.
Inspection results are currently available online in only a small number of counties, on the county department of health's website. For citizens in the rest of the state, the only way they would likely be able to access an inspection report is if they specifically requested it from the county. Posting the inspection results on the DOH website will provide easy access to the public and better enable individuals to make a well-informed decision about where to eat. In addition, the fact that this information would be more easily accessible and publicized would encourage restaurants to ensure safe and sanitary practices are followed.
County health departments that maintain a website would be required to post a link on their website to direct visitors to the food service inspection results on the DOH website. Counties would continue to be able to make available the inspection results for the county on their own website should they choose to do so.
Additionally, this bill directs the commissioner to establish a system fox grading inspection results, which may then be included on its website with the inspection results. The grading system will use the letters A, B, C or D, making it easy for people to identify the restaurant's performance. It also addresses the fact that county-level enforcement can result in evaluation criteria and grading systems that vary widely between jurisdictions. Creating a uniform statewide grading system will provide much-needed uniformity throughout the state, and further encourage restaurants to increase their sanitation standards in order to achieve a higher letter grade.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 - S. 5572 - Referred to Health
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: It may have some fiscal implications.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law. The commissioner of health is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date on or before such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2375 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring public food service establishment inspection results to be posted on the department of health's website and authorizing the establishment of a letter grading system to classify inspection results THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 1352-d to read as follows: S 1352-D. PUBLIC FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT INSPECTION RESULTS. 1. (A) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE ON ITS WEBSITE ALL PUBLIC FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT INSPECTION RESULTS FOR THE MOST RECENT THREE YEARS. (B) IF A COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OR LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH MAIN- TAINS A WEBSITE, IT SHALL POST A LINK TO THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE WHERE THE FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT INSPECTION RESULTS ARE AVAILABLE. 2. (A) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A SYSTEM FOR GRADING INSPECTION RESULTS FOR PUBLIC FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS. SUCH SYSTEM SHALL USE LETTERS A, B, C OR D TO IDENTIFY AND REPRESENT SUCH GRADING. IN ESTABLISHING SUCH SYSTEM OF GRADING, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE AND THE PROVISIONS OF THE SANITARY CODE TO ESTABLISH A GRADING SYSTEM THAT REFLECTS THE SAFETY AND SANITA- TION OF THE PREMISES AND FOOD HANDLING PRACTICES TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH LAWS. (B) THE DEPARTMENT MAY MAKE AVAILABLE ON ITS WEBSITE THE CORRESPONDING LETTER IDENTIFICATION FOR EACH PUBLIC FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT. (C) A CITY WITH A POPULATION OVER ONE MILLION, WITH ITS OWN HEALTH CODE OR SANITARY CODE, THAT ESTABLISHES, ENFORCES AND MAINTAINS ITS OWN SYSTEM OF SCORING AND GRADING INSPECTIONS OF FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTSEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04910-01-3 S. 2375 2
WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION SHALL BE EXEMPTED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law. Provided, however, that effective immediately, any rules and regu- lations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effec- tive date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such date.