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Aug 18, 2011 06:23 PM

Beware: DOH "Grade Pending" means Bad Grade!!

I just found out that restaurants are required to post their ratings. But more importantly and as I suspected when the restaurant posts signs that say "ratings pending" it usually means that they had a bad rating and are buying time until they get a better one.

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  1. Not necessarily, it just means they are disputing specific violations. I have a friend who owns a bar that received a "B", he disputed 2 of the violations and posted the grade pending sign until his hearing in front of the health department. He had one violation reversed, still had a B, but saved about $400 by no having to pay the fine.

    4 Replies
    1. re: donovt

      what it does tell is that the initial grade is not an A

      1. re: Nancy S.

        True. I don't personally consider a B a bad grade though.

        1. re: donovt

          you need to look at the actual violations listed on the site, you can get a B for permits and not neccissarily filth, rats, wrong temps, contamination, etc......but again, the majority of posters on this site, don't give a "rat's a--) least that's been my observation being one of the first posters on the outer boroughs board...............and I do care, having survived salmonella poisioning, it changed me forever.......besides the fact I think many of the violations are avoidable if there was more pride or awareness, or respect for customer...but again, I am in the minority on this site, and make no apologies for it.

          1. re: janie

            One of the large Japanese restaurants in my area was constantly getting threatened with hard sanction from the county health department not for anything involving food but because they didn't have the proper signage for the emergency exit in a little used gift shop area. Considering how they had about five other emergency exits in higher traffic areas, we figured we were more than okay eating there.

    2. generaly yes...but you can look up the specifics on the doh website--so, do it before you show up at a place if it's a concern for you---there have been many incidences though of past bad reports and then places getting an A, only to maybe lose it 6 months, it's always a good idea to keep checking--because there's usually a lag time before the inspection and the posting...but many many posters on chowhound do not care, and the moderators do not like these discussions, so be warned this thread will end up getting trashed.

      1. I recall reading about this. One of the restaurants that had a pending (They got a B and were re-trying for an A) was Le Bernardin. Yes, as in the 3 michelin star restaurant. So... It really doesn't mean much. Apparently, one of things that you get docked for is serving "undercooked" (i.e. anything under well-done) dishes. Overall, it's not something I put a lot, if any, emphasis on. It's only of interest if it's bad enough that they're about to get shut down. And, if it's that bad, you really don't need a grade to tell you.

        1. Of course, "Pending" could mean they didn't pay the inspector enough.

          1. here is the DOH self inspection worksheet:


            many of these violations are not going to impact the food quality (e.g. poor lighting, permit not posted, tobacco vending machine rules), some will actually result in worse food if followed (e.g. all pork must be at 155f for 15 seconds) , and some are just outmoded ideas (e.g. no raw milk products)