In response to the news story ” Controversial Allegheny health grading policy could return ” (Nov. 8 and TribLIVE.com): I would like to applaud its author, Adam Brandolph, for giving due attention to restaurant owners.
They play a crucial role in the area’s public health and economy. Owners such as Brian Carey of Cappy’s Cafe and Jeff Cohen of Smallman Street Deli raise excellent points about how to fairly assess establishments.
As a health-conscious consumer who enjoys dining at a number of Pittsburgh’s neighborhood-gem restaurants, I think many of the owners quoted in this story and Dr. Bruce Dixon, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, have it right. Restaurants do need to “watch their Ps and Qs,” but a system that is fair will provide the most accurate information to consumers and will encourage good behavior.
The new system needs to include incentives for restaurant owners to do well consistently and should allow establishments to fix their mistakes by conducting repeat evaluations for first-time offenders midway through the year.
Results of the inspection should fully disclose how the establishment is rated by listing a letter grade, a numerical score and scores by category.
Melissa N. Fann