first_imgWould your kitchen get an “A” grade? Building off its popular restaurant grading system, Los Angeles County health officials are challenging residents to find out with an online home-kitchen quiz. Those with keen cleanliness customs who score 90 percent or higher will get a coveted “A” placard to post in their kitchens. “The majority of food-borne illnesses come from foods prepared in the home. So we want to mirror the progress made in our restaurant grading system with progress people can make in their own kitchen, making sure the food they serve is as safe as it can be,” Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding said Tuesday. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 A recent study suggests that the popular restaurant grading system, introduced in the county in 1998 and now a national model, contributed to a 13 percent decrease in the number of reported food-borne illnesses from 1997 to 2000. The home kitchen self-inspection quiz applies the same standards as health inspectors use in the restaurant grading system, asking more than three-dozen questions on topics from food temperatures and handling to hand washing. Andrew Casana, senior director of local government affairs for the 25,000-member California Restaurant Association, said he took the survey and got an “A” – but his wife and two people in his office took the survey and got “C’s.” “We deal with this on a daily basis,” Casana said. “We are used to keeping our kitchens clean. But some people don’t know how to store meat or other items. People at home can get themselves sick if they don’t do things correctly.” Some might not be aware of the right answers to such questions as where to store raw meat in the refrigerator or whether to use the same cutting board for vegetables and meat, Casana said. “You can get a cross-contamination thing,” Casana said. “You often see people using the same chopping board for meat and produce.” Since the county began grading restaurants to ensure compliance with local and national food-safety regulations, many residents now look for the “A,” “B” or “C” placards before deciding whether to eat at a certain establishment. Still, the home kitchen self-inspection quiz drew mixed reactions from some residents. “I think it’s silly,” said Canoga Park resident Ruth Hipschman. “There is a purpose for doing it in public because you don’t know what is happening in the kitchen. But when you are cooking in your own home, you know how you are cleaning it. “Why do you need someone else to tell you that’s an ‘A’ or a ‘C,’ or that you flunked?” Granada Hills resident Catherine Kelsey questioned county priorities. “Doesn’t the county have more things to do that would be more useful than this?” Kelsey asked. “There are many other things I’d like to see the county spend money on.” Some noted a lighter side: The placard might be a good conversation piece for parties. “I wouldn’t personally get one,” said Nicole Rodriguez, a bartender at the Riverbottom Bar & Grill in Burbank. “But it would be fun for people who are home a lot.” Others suggested friends and neighbors might use it to take “keeping up with the Joneses” to a new level. “But you have to tell the truth,” said Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who initiated the restaurant grading system. “Just like when we are reassured when we go to a restaurant and look at their grades, it will be interesting to see how reassured people are when they are invited over to other people’s homes and say, ‘Hey, where is your ‘A’ grade?”‘ Fielding said. North Hills resident Barbara Cook said the self-inspection was a great idea. “People will be less apt to get sick if they wash their hands and clean their counters better,” Cook said. Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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