2014-02-21 / Top Stories

Oh Rats!

Some Eateries Show Rodent Droppings
By Katie McFadden

According to restaurant inspection information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, many of Rockaway’s eateries had unwanted guests. More than 50 percent of restaurants in some parts of the community were found to have evidence of mice or rats at some point over the past year.

Online blog site Gothamist recently posted a map of the city that showed the rat rate among restaurants around the five boroughs. The map was created by independent journalist Steven Melendez who kept track of the Department of Health’s restaurant inspection ratings since January 1, 2013 and took note every time a restaurant report included "evidence of mice or live mice" or "evidence of rats or live rats.” The results for local zip codes were not appetizing.

In the 11691 zip code in Far Rockaway, Melendez says that 54 percent of the eateries that were inspected showed that there was evidence of rodents. The inspections included 46 restaurants and 25 were found to have evidence of rats or mice.

The restaurants in Arverne fared somewhat better. Of the eight restaurants in the 11692 zip code, two were found to have evidence of mice or rats. In the 11693 zip code nine out of 23 of restaurants had evidence of rodents. The rate in the 11694 zip code was also high with 41 percent, or 13 out of 32 inspected restaurants showing such evidence.

Diners are warned, that just because a restaurant may post an A letter grade, doesn’t mean it’s rodent-free. Upon reading current reports of local restaurants’ recent inspections, even many with A grades were found to have evidence of mice or rats. If these restaurants don’t have many other violations, they are can achieve an A grade.

According to recent inspections, two restaurants in the 11691 zip codecurrentlyhaveaCrating. There are none in the 11692 or 11693 zip codes with a C. One relatively new eatery in the 11694 zip codehasaCrating.Someeateries across the peninsula currently don’t have a letter grade as their ratings are still pending. A restaurant has two chances to earn an A rating during an inspection cycle. If it doesn’t earn an A during the first inspection, it is scored but doesn’t receive a letter grade. An inspector will go back to the restaurant unexpectedly within a month and the re-inspection is graded. If the restaurant receivesaBorC,therestaurant receives a grade card and a grade pending card and can post either one until it has an opportunity to be heard at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Health Tribunal.

To search for specific restaurant inspection ratings in your zip code, go to the NYC Health and Mental Hygiene website and put “restaurants” in the search bar.

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