city of San Antonio

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File #: 19-7764   
Type: Staff Briefing - Without Ordinance
In control: City Council B Session
On agenda: 10/30/2019
Posting Language: Briefing by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on the mandatory posting of letter grade placards in food establishments. [Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, PhD, Assistant City Manager; Jennifer Herriott, Interim Director, Health]
Attachments: 1. Staff Presentation
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DEPARTMENT HEAD: Jennifer Herriott, MPH



A briefing by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on a proposal to make the posting of letter grade placards mandatory in food establishments.


The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) will provide a presentation discussing the input collected from the public and food establishments on the mandatory posting of letter grade placards.


In November 2014, the City's Office of Innovation conducted a study on Metro Health's Food & Environmental section. One of the recommended outcomes included an update on the scoring system to make it more transparent for the public. In 2016, Metro Health implemented a voluntary letter grade placard system with Health Inspectors providing food establishments with a letter grade placard in addition to the inspection report. Both include a numbered score. Currently, only the posting of the inspection report is mandatory within the food establishment premises as per City Ordinance.

A letter grade placard is more intuitive and transparent to the public, reduces foodborne illness, saves on associated health care costs, and helps food establishments with long-term compliance.

Other U.S. cities that currently use letter grade placards include Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, Charlotte, and Chicago. Texas cities that use letter grade placards include Plano, Kerrville, Live Oak, Schertz, Selma, Shavano, and Cibolo. Letter grade placards are also supported by the Big Cities Health Coalition representing the 30 largest U.S. Cities and the National Association of County & City Health Officials.

On December 14, 2018, Dr. Colleen Bridger, the Health Director at that time provided the City's Community Health and Equity Committee with a presentation on the status of Metro Health's voluntary letter grade placard system. The committee approved a motion...

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