Global & Disaster Medicine

Why is there a decline in Salmonella infections in NYC restaurants?

Restaurant Inspection Letter Grades and Salmonella Infections, New York, New York, USA PDF Version[PDF – 506 KB – 5 pages]

M. J. Firestone and C. W. Hedberg
Volume 24, Number 12—December 2018
Rates of Salmonella infection in the United States have not changed over the past 20 years. Restaurants are frequent settings for Salmonella outbreaks and sporadic infections. Few studies have examined the effect of posting letter grades for restaurant inspections on the incidence of foodborne illness. We compared Salmonella infection rates in New York, New York, USA (NYC), with those in the rest of New York state before and after implementation of a letter grade system for restaurant inspections in NYC. We calculated a segmented regression model for interrupted time series data. After implementation of letter grading, the rate of Salmonella infections decreased 5.3% per year in NYC versus the rest of New York state during 2011–2015, compared with the period before implementation, 2006–2010. Posting restaurant inspection results as letter grades at the point of service was associated with a decline in Salmonella infections in NYC and warrants consideration for broader use.

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