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Mann Packing to debut Tenderbite Beans, two Romaine hybrids

Mann Packing will launch three new items at the PMA Foodservice Expo in Monterey, CA, on July 31: Mann’s Tenderbite Beans and two new Romaine lettuce hybrids.mann

Mann’s Tenderbite Beans are a long, plank-shaped green bean variety not seen on the mass market in the United States since the 1970s. Also known as runner or Romano beans and popular in Europe, Tenderbite Beans are highly versatile due to their long length and heartiness. Previously found only in home gardens and occasional farmers markets, Mann’s is producing the variety for year-round availability.

“Tenderbite Beans really caught our eye when we saw them in Europe a year ago,” Rick Russo, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Mann’s, said in a press release. “They’re great on the grill, slow roasted, or wrapped on a skewer — you can do so much more with these than your average green bean. So far, our customers have been really excited to see these coming back into the market.”

Mann’s is also introducing two new Romaine lettuce hybrids: RomaCrunch and RomaLeaf.  RomaCrunch, a cross between Romaine and Iceberg, has a small head and crunchy-sweet flavor. Its whole leaves are boat-shaped, making them an ideal vessel for protein salads, grains, or even desserts. It also stands up well to heat.

RomaLeaf is a true hybrid that blends the most appealing features of Romaine and green leaf lettuces. With more green leaves than Romaine and a texture crunchier than green leaf, it has excellent yield and impressive lift when used in salad bars, catering trays and sandwich building.

“With vegetables taking center stage on menus across the country, we’re doing what we’ve always done: create innovative products that give our customers better alternatives to what’s already out there,” Russo said in the release.

Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro in Monterey will be serving samples of recipes he has created using Tenderbite Beans and RomaCrunch, and all items will be on display in booth No. 110.

 

 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Organic Produce Summit has tremendous debut

MONTEREY, CA — The inaugural Organic Produce Summit, held here July 13-14, was a resounding success with a sold-out trade show and attendance roster, standing-room only seminars, thought-provoking featured speakers and a trade show floor buzzing with activity.

“Have you ever seen a trade show with more excitement,” asked Dave Moore of Earthbound Farms, the San Juan Bautista, CA-based company that was a pioneer in organic produce production. “It reminds me of a party in high school where everyone hangs in the kitchen.”

Moore was speaking of the crowded aisles, which did seem to have a party atmosphere, and didn’t bother anybody, especially the exhibitors like Earthbound.

Tonya Antle, another organic produce pioneer who is now a principal at Salinas, CA-based Tanimura & Antle, served as mistress of ceremonies during the two-hour keynote session that featured four diverse speakers. Antle beamed as she remembered the early days of organic produce and surveyed the packed room that gathered to hear these speakers.

After Chad Hagen, a noted organic industry devotee, made his presentation, Antle said she felt like a “proud mother” as she gave the speaker his start in the business about 25 years ago.

And after listening to Organic Trade Association Chief Executive Officer Laura Batcha wax poetic about the value of the organic shopper, Antle noted that it was great to have statistics backing up what the early pioneers seemed to know intrinsically — that buyers of organic produce buy more produce than the average shopper.

The summit, which began with a reception on Wednesday, July 13, and continued through a morning of seminars and an afternoon trade show the following day, did have a buzz as it is hard to deny that this segment of the industry is amazingly passionate about the organic sector. Antle revealed that the trade show had 75 different companies exhibiting and that there were more than 800 attendees, representing 100 buying groups and 50,000 grocery stores.

The main keynote speaker was noted author Mark Bittman, a well-known advocate of the consumption of “real food.” Bittman opened his remarks by opining that he was speaking to the “good guys.” Perhaps capturing an unannounced underlying theme of the show, Bittman focused on the “real food” nature of organic produce as its main advantage, rather than the fact that it is organic. He noted that “organic” junk food is still junk food, and is not good for you, while saying that fruits and vegetables — conventional or organic — should be the basis of every diet. He called organic produce a subset of the bigger category of real food, which he is on a mission to promote.

Batcha of the OTA touted a similar theme in her speech. An unabashed advocate for organic produce and food in general, Batcha ticked off a litany of statistics proving that the organic category is being driven by organic produce (about one-third of all organic food sales). She noted that 50 percent of organic produce buyers are millennial parents, and 51 percent of all households do purchase organic produce during a year.

“Retailers who sell more organic produce, sell more produce overall,” she said.

But she also said that the majority of organic buyers will choose an alternative produce item if the product they are shopping for is not available in an organic SKU.

While there is a small number of passionate organic produce shoppers who won’t buy conventional produce, Batcha said the vast majority (98 percent) are crossovers. The OTA’s advice to retailers is that a positive message touting organic produce is much more effective than a negative messaging denigrating conventional produce.

The show seemed to have the same vibe as the majority of exhibitors and attendees appeared to be from the mainstream produce industry, buying and selling both organic and conventional produce.

However, seminars earlier in the day were clearly devoted to specific organic produce topics. A trio of retailers discussed the best way to merchandise organic produce, while a trio of shippers talked about many of the challenges in attempting to fill the growing demand for organic produce. There is real concern about how supply can keep up with demand.

Another session was devoted to trends in organic consumption, while a final session dealt with the role organic produce plays in e-commerce retail produce sales.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Supermarket News

Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News

Restaurant Inspections With Letter Grades Debut in Colorado

The letter grade system for reporting restaurant inspection results most associated with New York City has reached Colorado.

Michael Bloomberg, the three-term liberal billionaire mayor, first imposed an A-to-F posted grading system on Big Apple restaurants in 2010. Before Bloomberg left office at the end of 2013, his letter grade system was being heralded as a major accomplishment of his 12-year tenure. It was being copied as far away as Florida, and public awareness in New York spread quickly by New Yorkers using apps to locate restaurants with A and B ratings.

Without warning or fanfare, letter grading has arrived in Colorado through a somewhat unlikely jurisdiction — conservative Weld County. It’s upset the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and left the state’s public health community a bit perplexed.

In a sense, what Weld County did was pretty simple. It did not change how restaurant inspections are scored and will continue using the same system with points assigned to a violation that Colorado restaurant inspections have been using since the 1990s.

Mark Salley, communications director for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE), explains that the 1990s system is coming in for review.

“The department, in coordination with our local public health partners, is reviewing and considering revisions to our current ratings guidance,” Salley told Food Safety News. “Considerations include weighing the prevalence of the violation with the establishment and what mechanism is best to communicate these findings to the consumer.”

What Weld County did do is replace the adjectives: excellent, good, fair, poor and unacceptable, with A-to-F letter grades. Jeff Lawrence, who heads CDPHE’s environmental health and sustainability division, wants Weld County to at least keep the excellent, good, fair, and unacceptable ratings in parentheses, along with the letter grades, so there is consistency among all 35 local jurisdictions in Colorado doing restaurant inspections.

Bloomberg’s letter grade system was credited for its popularity with New Yorkers but also for its claims of having reduced incidents of foodborne illness. However, there are some doubts about that in Colorado.

“We know that CRA and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) have expressed concerns about the use and value of letter grades and that nationally there are other methods used by other regulatory agencies,” Lawrence notes. “These differing views and differing methods create that debate.”

Four years ago, Denver Environmental Health required restaurants with repeat violations to post those notices on their doors until corrections were made. CRA members hated the practice so much that they agreed to pay higher (some say much higher) fines for less public attention. It still requires public postings when a restaurant is closed for imminent health hazards or if one is found guilty in court of violating a health code.

Danica Lee, manager of Denver’s food safety section, says that violation data show lower rates of violation per inspection since the 2011 changes were made.

“There are no plans at this time to move to a letter rating system,” Lee says. “Some of the challenges with establishing rating systems include fairly reflecting a facility’s severity of violations as well as compliance history over multiple inspections.

Lee, however, adds that nothing is “off the table” and the department continuously evaluates the efficacy of the existing system for communicating with consumers. Denver restaurant inspection reports with inspector notes are available on the city’s website.”

Weld County is a 4,001-square-mile area south of the Wyoming-Colorado border and north of Denver International Airport. It is among the richest agricultural counties and most productive oil and gas areas in the U.S.  It plans on doing 2,650 food establishment inspections in 2015.

Food Safety News