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Public Health and Wellness to Revise Food Placard System

Thursday August 25, 2011

Beginning September 1, the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness will revise its ABC Restaurant Placard Program to more closely align it to the Kentucky Retail Food Code that went into effect on May 1, 2010. The new state food code enacts measures that more effectively prevent food borne illness.

The placard system has been simplified. Now an "A" score will represent a passing facility, which meets the minimum requirements of the state food code. A "B" score will represent a facility that is under administrative review; it has a history of failing two successive inspections or was closed due to imminent health issues. A “C” score will represent a facility that has failed its most recent inspection by either scoring below 85 or by having a critical violation(s).

Critical violations are those which are most likely to cause food borne illness, such as spoiled food, food kept at unsafe temperatures, improper re-serving of food, improper hand washing or bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.

The new placard system provides more information to the consumer. Not only will the new placards list the current letter grade and score, they will also list letter grades and numerical scores for the restaurant’s previous two inspections.

“The inspection process is the tool that regulates the facility and ensures food safety. The placard is a way to communicate information to the public,” said Matt Rhodes, Public Health and Wellness Deputy Director.

“The new placard system more closely aligns the actual letter grade with what the public perceives the letter grade to mean. We’ve received feedback from both consumers and restaurant operators that the public perceives a B grade to mean Bad. Now the B rating will be reserved for those restaurants that have had a history of repeatedly failing inspections,” said Rhodes.
The new placard system is as follows:

A = 85-100% with no critical violations. An “A” placard acknowledges safe food handling practices and designates that the facility meets the requirements of the Kentucky State Food Code without critical violations. The “A” placard will remain posted until the next routine inspection.

B = Will include ALL facilities that have failed two regular consecutive inspections, have failed a follow-up inspection, or were closed during the regular inspection due to imminent public health violations. The “B” placard will remain posted until the facility passes its next regular inspection.

C = 84% or below will include ALL inspections with critical violations. A “C” placard indicates that a food service facility has failed to meet minimum requirements of the Kentucky State Food Code. This will include a score with any critical violations. The “C” placard will be placed for a minimum of seven days and not more than ten days. A follow-up inspection will be conducted and the applicable placard posted.

A facility that is closed by the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness for imminent public health violations, regardless of the numeric score, will be required to post a B placard after passing the next follow-up inspection. The B placard will be posted regardless of the passing numeric score. The B placard must be displayed until the next routine inspection.

A facility that fails two consecutive regular inspections will be under administrative review. Any restaurant that fails two consecutive inspections will be required to post a “B” until its next unscheduled inspection.

Those facilities that fail a single inspection will be re-inspected within seven to 10 days and the subsequent placard will reflect the follow-up inspection grade. If the re-inspection score is 85 or higher and no critical violations were detected, the facility will earn an “A” placard. However, the placard will also display the previous two inspection results including the “C” and the failing numerical score.

All facilities that currently have a “B” placard earned under the previous policy will be re-inspected using these revised placard guidelines.

People wishing to have regular food safety bulletins delivered to their email may do so by signing up at
https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/KYLOUISVILLE/subscriber/new?topic_id=KYLOUISVILLE_151