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RAMW Opposes Health Inspection Grade Posting Legislation

January 3, 2009

Lynne Breaux, President

RAMW Opposes Health Inspection Grade Posting Legislation

Legislation was introduced in the Council of the District of Columbia which would revamp the current health inspection regulations for restaurants in Washington, DC. RAMW is opposed to this legislation. The legislation mandates a simplistic letter grading system with the grade posted in the restaurant’s front window. The process of health inspections is a subjective one based on one individual inspector’s interpretation of the regulations. It is a one-day snapshot that may or may not reflect the restaurant’s record of compliance with health regulations.
This legislation is proposed in a city already known for its unfriendly business environment and also known for its extremely high cost of doing business.  This legislation comes at a time of increasingly volatile economic turmoil, a time when cities’ should be doing their best to assist their
high-tax paying businesses instead of pushing them further to the brink.

The current food code regulations contain provisions for commending restaurants that consistently perform well in inspections – a positive reinforcement tool that any educator will tell you is more powerful than the threat of negative consequences such as is proposed by this legislation.  Unfortunately, the commendation provisions which have been in place for many years are not used. Rather than simply having the Health Department follow its current regulations by implementing the commendation provisions, another layer of regulation is proposed.

RAMW strongly opposes this legislation.


Established in 1920, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington has more than 600 members in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.  The Association serves as the voice of establishments ranging from casual eateries to internationally-acclaimed fine dining restaurants.