Assessing costs and benefits of New York City's law requiring restaurants to post a grade for their food-safety inspections

The Foundation's program, Public Health Law Research: Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health, was designed to build the evidence for public health law and policy, translate research findings into practical tools to increase the support for and use of law by policy makers and public health practitioners, and to translate findings to other fields and venues to improve and protect health.This study will estimate the financial costs and potential health and public safety benefits of the implementation of a New York City food safety restaurant grading initiative. The New York City Council's action establishing this policy has sparked substantial controversy and public scrutiny, with restaurant owners and their lawyers arguing that the new law places an extraordinary burden on the industry. Findings from this project will have a critical role to play in the ongoing debate about government regulation in this arena. This study will be the first effort to evaluate systematically both the implementation and effects of the new law. The study will investigate the costs and benefits of this new model of regulation, as well as evidence regarding the impacts on the private and public sectors. Findings from this study will contribute to a more comprehensive and evidence-based assessment of using a restaurant grading law to improve the health of the public, and will inform the ongoing public debate in New York City and other localities. Deliverables include: national and local conference presentations, invited presentations, journal publications, articles in public health and law publications, and opinion pieces for relevant publications.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $150,000.00

Awarded on: 11/29/2012

Time frame: 11/15/2012 - 5/14/2014

Grant Number: 70508


New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

82 Washington Square East
New York, 10003-6680


Todor Mijanovich
Project Director


Amy Ellen Schwartz
Project Director