We’ve heard stories about what lurks behind the closed doors of New York’s restaurant kitchens, but most of what we know remains the product of hearsay. In a city teeming with vermin and bugs that crawl beneath our feet, it’s no wonder that some of New York’s 24,000 restaurants might be awash with bacteria… or at least run by a semi-negligent staff. Luckily, the Department of Health has tracked and collated findings from its restaurant inspections in the last year, tabulating violations that are both arbitrarily nitpicky and grotesquely horrifying, and has made it really easy to chart all the violations that have been happening around us all year.
Here’s how it works: Restaurants are graded on a point scale that reflects the number of health and hygiene criteria violated. “At the end of the inspection, the inspector totals the points, and this number is the restaurant’s inspection score—the lower the score, the better the Grade,” according to the Department of Health.
In the chart we compiled using NYC Open Data, we found that the Department of Health subjects restaurants to an overwhelming number of ordinances, and as inspections are random, it’s likely that all NYC eateries violate something eventually. But, it’s worth mentioning the alarming rate of cockroaches swarming the floors of some delis and restaurants. And oh yeah, there’s a mice problem too–the scores in this chart, which are a reflection of all average scores for various violations, show that evidence of mice in food preparation areas earned a 56–one of the higher tallies racked up for any single violation.
So if you’re a Purell-spurting-germaphobe who always checks the letter grades hanging on restaurant windows, you might want to browse the findings compiled here. You can also search by restaurant name, borough and by various other criteria, just to see once and for all if that flatbread place you love has floors covered in mouse poop.
Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster