Germany to Start Offering Hygiene Grades for Restaurants--But with Traffic-Light Colors Instead of Letters

Categories: Really?!?!?
Flickr user Horia Varlan

In further proof that the world is coming to an end, Germany--land of Oktoberfest, home of many sausages, where informal food is king and the king of the free market--will force all restaurants to incorporate a rating system that allows consumers to know how truly dirty or clean the restaurant is.

But instead of going with letter grades or even a numerical ranking, Germany has decided to institute a color-code system based on a traffic-light system: green is good, yellow, so-so, red bad. So not only is Germany becoming as paranoid about restaurant cleanliness as us, they've even stolen our terror code!

Worse, they've decided to go farther.

The system won't take place until next year, according to Der Spiegel, but there are plans to also institute the system with "bakers, butchers, grocers, commercial kitchens and weekly markets." Strange anomaly: "Pizza delivery establishments, to which customers have little direct contact, will be rated online."

Germany's food industry, understandably, is upset. Best quote from the story, from a hotel and "gastronomy" association: "This system is built to endanger people's existence," they said in a statement."

Don't worry, Deutschland: you'll learn to ignore what the government tells you about restaurants just like us.

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Sorely Frickey
Sorely Frickey

"Don't worry, Deutschland: you'll learn to ignore what the government tells you about restaurants just like us." There are no restaurants just like you.

I hope the Germans have already learned to ignore what third-rate alternative newspapers tell them:

(1) Janet the Homeland Cop announced in January that our color-coded terrorism alert system would be phased out in April. Where you been?

(2) The objections to that old system do not apply to restaurant hygiene ratings (since, at least in Southern California, the investigative details are provided on a Web site), and who cares whether the ratings are expressed as numbers, forks, colors, roach droppings, ...?

(3) You're wrong when you say that we ignore these ratings. NO ONE ignores government information that says a restaurant is a filthy, rat-infested hole. This is one of the few legitimate areas for government activity, because we can't trust gum-snapping reviewers like you, and the restaurant industry has shown that it won't police itself. For Pete's sake, the government doesn't evaluate the quality of restaurants. You knew that -- right?

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