Nov 2, 2022 - Food and Drink

Restaurant safety plan gets shut down

Illustration of a food truck with its grate closing, and a no-sign on the grate.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Restaurant inspection results won't be publicly posted anytime soon.

Driving the news: City Council rejected a proposal to display color-coded results in Detroit restaurant windows by a 3-6 vote yesterday.

  • Members Scott Benson, Angela Whitfield Calloway and Mary Waters voted yes.

Why it matters: The food safety debate intensified after the iconic Lafayette Coney Island was temporarily shut down in September for rodents.

  • Proponents argued publicly posting food safety results would hold restaurants accountable and put patrons' health above profits.

The other side: Restaurant groups and others spoke out against the plan before the council voted.

  • Opponents questioned the city health department's ability to quickly handle the workload and claimed the plan would not be applied equally to all businesses that serve food.

What they're saying: Council member Gabriela Santiago-Romero, who initially supported the plan before voting against it, said restaurant owners are already burdened with an onerous permitting process.

  • "I do not believe our restaurant owners, especially coming out of COVID, have what they need right now to succeed," she said.

What's next: Council President Mary Sheffield said the plan could be tweaked and brought back in the next year.

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