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Where are the lowest 2019 Restaurant Health Inspection Grades around New York City?


Where are the lowest 2019 Restaurant Health Inspection Grades around New York City?

This analysis looks at January-November 2019 restaurant health inspection grades in New York City. Grades are given out by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). To filter down to January- November 2019 only grades an API command call was used.

Data Source: DOHMH New York City Restaurant Inspection Result

Tables and Graphs were created using Google Collab Notebook

The Health Department performs inspections of restaurants at least once a year unannounced. Restaurants are graded based on compliance in food handling, food temperature, personal hygiene and vermin control. Each violation of a regulation results in a certain number of points. At the end of the inspection, the inspector totals the points and this number is the restaurant’s inspection score — the lower the score, the better the grade (NYC Health Food Establishment Inspections).

Score Breakdown:

0–13 points = A

14–27 points = B

28 points or higher = C


N- Not Available

Restaurants are required to hang the health inspection grade near the doorway for the public to see. Restaurants have two chances to earn an A in every inspection cycle. If it doesn’t earn an A on the first inspection, it’s scored but ungraded. (How We Score and Grade). These are the “P” or “N” grades in the dataset used.

To analyze the data several Google Collab Notebook Python libraries were installed:




altair (for plotting)

matplotlibs (for plotting)

group_by functions were used to see how many restaurants were in each borough and how many cuisine types are in New York City. Of the 2019 health inspection grades, Manhattan has the most amount of restaurants with 2,020 restaurants.

The most common cuisine type is ‘American’ with 1,017 restaurants.

I then wanted to see where the ‘worst’ grades were around the city.

Manhattan has the most amount of C-Grades; however, this is most likely skewed since there are more restaurants in Manhattan than the other boroughs.

To narrow the location, I wanted to see where the C Grades were by community board. Community Board 104 (Manhattan-04) which contains Clinton and Chelsea neighborhoods has the largest number of of restaurants with C Grades.

While I could have looked into the types of violations that might have resulted in C-Grades for some of these community districts, I still wanted to focus more on location of grades around New York City.

I then asked: Where would you more likely encounter a C-Graded restaurant?

Originally, I tried to create a stacked bar graph of grade makeup by borough, but this again just showed there were more restaurants in Manhattan. To try and normalize the data I converted the grade makeups in each borough to percentages.

When looking at all the boroughs, A Grades make up a majority of the grades for restaurants (which is good because otherwise we might all question eating at restaurants). Although Manhattan has more restaurants and more C-Grades, Bronx and Staten Island have more C-Grades relative to the other boroughs.

For further analysis, I would look into the cuisine types and violation codes of Bronx and State Island restaurants to see what might be driving these low grades.

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