Foodservice Equipment Reports

A Colorful Debate In Orange County

Sixteen years after neighboring Los Angeles County began posting letter grades to indicate the outcome of restaurants’ health inspections, Orange County is considering whether it should update how it publicizes a restaurant’s status.

But instead of shifting from its longtime orange decal system to the more distinctive and easy-to-spot letter grades found in many major metropolitan areas, Orange County is studying a green-yellow-red “stoplight” color-coded system. County supervisors have three months to make a decision.

Currently the California county uses small, nearly identical orange decals labeled “Pass,” “Reinspection Due/Pass” or “Closed” to inform customers on how a restaurant fared in its latest health code inspection. The decals, often faded or posted in obscure spots, can be easily overlooked.

This isn’t the first time a switch has been discussed, but the cost, an estimated $500,000, and the potential impact the system would have on businesses, has stymied change.

Evolving technology has made more information available to consumers, who can access restaurants’ most recent inspection reports online in in cities across the country, including Los Angeles County; a mobile app for such information is in the works, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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