Los Angeles Gets Tough With Health Inspection Scores
Hard enforcement of health grades went into effect January 1 in Los Angeles County. Under a new point-deduction system, points will be subtracted from the inspection score when two or more major critical risk violations are found during a routine inspection (three points per violation), and when a restaurant’s permit is suspended for sewage or vermin infestation, or not having water available (seven points each).
Business could suffer if grades fall, but operator also could face default on some important contracts. Many restaurants have covenants in their leases, and possibly their loan documents, that require them to maintain an “A” grade (or operate a first-class establishment).
The country’s widely emulated letter-grading system had gone largely unchanged since 1998, and it’s expected that other cities and counties will follow suit and create stricter point deductions for restaurants closed for a cockroach, rodent or fly infestation; sewage problems; or for not having any water running through the facility.