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The Letter Grades Turn 10: It's a Success!

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The 'C' does not stand for Chango, revolute, Flickr

The letter grade system was launched in 1997, and statistics show that the damn thing works. Of course, even with an A, a restaurant can run into problems, and some restaurants you never expect to have lower than an A, can get a B. But all in all, it's a system we've come to know and love in Los Angeles, so here's a breakdown of its success, by the numbers:

· Almost 38,000 food outlets get inspected annually. Full-menu restaurants get checked three times a year. Those that perform poorly, get additional inpsections.

· By mid-2007, 82.5% or restaurants earned an A (90-100 points). When the program launched, it was only 39.9%.

· Which means that from 1997-2007, the number or C's (lower than 70 points) decreased by more than 99%. Only 0.2% posted below 70 during 2006-07.

· The inspection sheet is four pages long, 71 items to check. When the program launched, there were only 42 categories.

· A 2001 survey showed that 77% of county residents noticed the grades in the windows, and only 3% would eat in a C restaurant; 25% would go to a B.
· A-list dining in L.A. County makes the grade [LAT]
· Rumor Control: BLD's Hollandaise Hell [~ELA~]
· When a B is Just a B: Lessons from the DOH [~ELA~]