Restaurants in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County would receive a food safety rating and those inspection scores would be posted online under a proposal being considered by the county’s Board of Health.

Under the new system given tentative approval this week, a perfect rating would be 100 and points would be deducted if inspectors found violations.  For example, points would be subtracted for undercooking food not using a thermometer to determine doneness.

According to a story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Allegheny County’s Health Department Food Safety Division conducts annual inspections and monitors complaints at about 9,000 food establishments, including restaurants, institutions and street vendors.  Allegheny County has a population of about 1.3 million and includes the city of Pittsburgh.

The Health Department issued letter grades beginning in the 1970s but changed to a pass/fail system in 1994 because restaurants complained that the system was unfair, the newspaper reported. 

Under the new system, a restaurant’s violations and score would be posted online only for the first year.  The violations, score and an accompanying letter grade would be posted online and inside the establishment after the first year.

The regulations go into effect if the board approves a final draft.  A 60-day public comment period begins Monday.