Last week I was tired and didn’t feel like cooking dinner. I wasn’t in the mood for Chinese or Pizza and the fact that it was a gamble that if I eat either one of those, I would be hovering around the toilet for most of the night, made the choice of not getting them much easier. On my block there is a Subways restaurant. Every once in a while I would get a foot long sandwich, but this day I felt like getting a soup. There was one guy behind the counter helping a customer when I walked in. I took my place at the end of the counter and waited peacefully as the man ordered almost everything in the garnish section into his sandwich. As he was finishing up, a couple walked in talking to each other loudly, not really paying attention to the fact that other people exist. After the man paid for his order and took a seat by a group of chair in front of the store, the couple stepped up to the register and the female asked the Subway employee if they had a certain type of bread. The guy nodded, and she proceeded to ask for a sandwich completely ignoring the fact that I was stand just a few feet away. I looked at them like they were stupid and was about to say something when the Subway employee pointed in my direction and said that I was next. The woman looked at me, rolled her eyes and continued the idiotic conversation with the man she was with. Well fuck you too, heffa! I thought.
I order a chicken noodle soup and some of those hippie potato chips they have in stock. As I was leaving, I noticed the Department of Health rating posted on the door. A “B”. I hesitated for a second and wondered, why did this place get a B rating? I rarely notice those ratings before, but this time it stood out to me. My first thought was to return the soup, get my money back and just make something at home, but since I already left and have never been sick before by the food at that establishment I thought against it. When I got home, I crashed on the couch and tuned into a Blog Talk Radio program that one of my internet friends host every Wednesday and I went in on the soup. After I was done, the thoughts of the B rating were completely out of my mind… Well, that was until the next morning that is, when my stomach started acting funny. I made some peppermint and ginger tea my mother brought me a few weeks back which did the trick.
Before I started the rest of my day, I thought maybe I should look into that Subway B rating since it was from the last place I ate from. I went to the New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene web page and after reading about how they graded resturants, entered the restaurant name and my zip code into the search query. Not only did I see the results for the Subways restaurant on my block, I saw ALL of the results for my zip code.
From the DOHMH’s “How We Score” PDF:
“If a restaurant scores 28 or more points on its graded inspection, the Health Department will continue to inspect it roughly once a month even after it receives a grade card. The inspections will continue until the restaurant scores below 28 or is closed by the department for serious and persistent violations.”
The Subways had 17 violation points and as started to go further down the listing I saw other places I frequent had many more, one place getting 24 violation points. Let’s just say I freaked out a bit and made a mental note to pay attention those signs in the future, because when it comes to my food, a B rating is not good enough.