Would You Pick a Restaurant Based on a Health Score?

June 13, 2013
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When people visit the review site Yelp to look up a restaurant, they usually look for reviews on food quality and service. Each page’s profile provides reviews from customers, location information and hours of operation. Now in select cities, people can also get the restaurant’s health score.

When people visit the review site Yelp to look up a restaurant, they usually look for reviews on food quality and service. Each page’s profile provides reviews from customers, location information and hours of operation. Now in select cities, people can also get the restaurant’s health score.

health scores nutritionThis hygiene score is based on a 100-point scale Yelp collects from the city’s health department and is public information. When you click on the score on the profile page, a new page opens and provides information on any recent violations the restaurant may have gotten – for unclean hands or improper use of gloves by employees, to name a couple of examples.

People on Yelp can’t alter the review system on their own. The score is based solely on the information Yelp gets from the local government. But Yelp does disclaim that due to each city’s inspection schedule and the time it takes to get processed, some display information may not be based on the most recent inspection data. They also ask consumers to report any unreasonable delay and data inaccuracies to that city’s health department.

In the past, patrons would have to go to their local government’s website to get health scores of local restaurants or rely on periodic stories in the media. Now, with the help of Yelp, new technology can help raise awareness about diseases related to poor sanitation practices at area restaurants.

The service, first introduced at the beginning of the year, is now available in San Francisco and New York and will be expanding to other major metropolitan cities in the near future.