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Health inspection rating signs coming to Detroit restaurants

Detroit restaurants to show health inspection cards
Detroit restaurants to show health inspection cards 03:19

(CBS DETROIT) — It will soon be easier to see which Detroit restaurants are meeting health department standards. On Tuesday, the Detroit City Council approved the "Dining with Confidence" ordinance.

It will require food establishments that pass health inspections to display a green placard, and establishments that fail will continue to be required to display a red placard. 

"For me, it's about public health safety and economic development," said Councilman Scott Benson, who spent six years spearheading the ordinance. "Doing the right thing by people's health will translate into more dollars for our restaurant industry. And it just highlights Detroit as a destination for foodies and food tourism."

He said the green signs are about creating incentives. The ordinance will impact fast food, fine dining, churches, casinos, sports venues and schools. It's a similar rating system to those seen in major cities around the world.

"And they've all seen the decreases in outbreaks of salmonella and other foodborne illnesses. They've seen decreases in hospitalizations, and they've seen decreases in deaths. And so all of these are extremely important. And we're not the first, but if we want to be a world-class city, we need to get in line and take care of these issues," said community food specialist Chef Phil Jones.

Jones said over 200 Detroit restaurants already have the signs up as they participated in the pilot program, adding that the placards aren't about punishment. 

"This is about giving them the resources so that they can be more profitable and that our friends and our family can have a great dining experience without the fear of taking home a foodborne illness," said Jones.

Benson said only one or two restaurants in Detroit fail health inspections each year, earning them the red placard. He said when that happens, the health department will work with the establishment to get it to pass inspection and earn a green placard.

He said they hope to have signs in all of the city's restaurants over the next year and a half.

The signs will be located at a restaurant's front door or next to the register at food halls. They will have a QR code that links to the last date of inspection.

"We encourage you to look for this placard. We encourage you to actually take the time to look for health inspection reports. And not to scare you off of any place, but for you to actually encourage our restaurant owners to be better," said Jones. 

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