Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gave out the first restaurant letter grade to a pizza shop in the city's Dorchester neighborhood on Wednesday morning.
Stash's Pizza, located at 612 Blue Hill Ave. received a grade of an "A."
“We think it’s great. We think it’s gratitude to what we do every day,” said Steve Bapantoniadis, Stash’s manager.
The pizza shop first opened its doors in 1998. The Bapantoniadis family prides themselves on the quality of food and service.
“I travel all the restaurants on a daily basis to make sure that they’re clean, the food is kept to temperature,” said Bapantoniadis.
The Health Division of the Inspectional Services Department will continue to inspect all restaurants and food trucks and issue letter grades of A, B or C, based on compliance with health and sanitation codes.
“There’s a sanitary code that we use. There’s 43 items that we look at and they’re broken into three different categories. critical foodbourne, critical and non-critical,” said William “Buddy” Christopher the commissioner of the Inspectional Services Department.
A foodbourne critical violation could be a restaurant’s failure to keep food at a safe temperature. Failing to properly tag and date food shipments is an example of a critical violation. A non-critical violation would the failure to keep non-food-contact surfaces clean.
The inspection process is nothing new for restaurants said Christopher. Inspections are done at least once a year. Restaurants that get a “B” will be inspected once every six months. Restaurants that get a “C” will be inspected every three months.
Each restaurant starts with 100 points and then points are deducted for each violation.
Violations can cost a restaurant between two points and 10 points each.
“We looked at, how do we make sure that we have all good, top quality clean restaurants in the city of Boston,” said Mayor Marty Walsh.
A score of 94-100 is an "A." A score of 81-93 is a "B" and a score of 80 or lower is a "C."
A restaurant that get an “A” on initial inspection will have its grade posted to the city’s website. If an establishment’s owner isn’t satisfied with the grade, they’ll be re-inspected 30 days after the initial inspection. The grade given after re-inspection will be the one posted to the website.
After the first year of the grading program, all restaurants and food trucks are required to post the grade on-location. Places that sell packaged food for retail, but don’t actually serve food, won’t be graded.
"Ultimately it comes down to making sure that the people in Boston and the people who come to our city go into good, clean establishments and have good, quality food," said Walsh.
The new Restaurant Grading System will take effect Wednesday.