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Morningside Heights Has Dirtiest Restaurants, Study Finds

By Della Hasselle | February 9, 2011 1:20pm
About 20 percent of the restaurants in Morningside Heights received a
About 20 percent of the restaurants in Morningside Heights received a "C" grade.
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Flickr/Cpt. Obvious

By Della Hasselle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Morningside Heights has more dirty restaurants than any other neighborhood in Manhattan, according to a new analysis of Health Department data conducted by amNY.

Ten of every 50 restaurants in that area inspected by the health department got a "C" grade or "grade pending" report, the lowest any restaurant can receive and still stay open, the paper reported.

Some residents expressed dismay that an area with a low concentration of restaurants could have so many health violations.

"There’s not a lot of restaurants in the area, they’re all takeout and junk — so I wish the actual restaurants would be cleaner where you can have an actual dinner," Harlem resident Candy Alvarez, 22, told amNY.

According to the data inspected, 20 percent of the eateries in that area are deemed to be dirty, a figure that's 12 percent higher than any other Manhattan neighborhood average.

Factors that may cause a restaurant to receive a low grade include rodents, roaches or other insects, keeping food too warm and dirty dishware.

Since the letter-grade system was put in place late last July, over 10,000 restaurants have been inspected, and most neighborhoods have an average of 8 percent of eateries that don't receive a satisfactory grade, according to the paper.

The neighborhood with the second-highest number of health department eatery infractions is lower Manhattan, amNY reported. Statistics could change, however, as there are 12,000 more restaurants left to be inspected by year's end.

Some restaurant owners, like Morningside Height's Society cafe owner Karl Williams, hope that the system will improve as much as their eateries are expected to.

"The goal of the health department is good," Williams, whose restaurant carries a "grade pending" sign, told amNY. "We just need to figure out a way to make it less a snapshot in time and into more of a pattern or trend."