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Clean Cities, Dirty Cities

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A consumer group ranked 20 U.S. cities for restaurant health, with Austin and Boston listed as worst Tucson and San Francisco topping the list. And while Los Angeles is used as the benchmark for what a city should do---adopt the letter grade system---it for some reason isn't ranked in the 20. But the program works, says the report's co-author: "The result in L.A. County has been a 20% reduction in food-borne illness. Right now, a poor inspection is a hidden shame for a restaurateur. With public grading, food safety comes out of the shadows and becomes a priority for the restaurant, the same way a four-star rating from the Zagat Guide would be." [WebMD via ESF]

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