Detroit City Council votes 'no' on restaurant grading ordinance

A new ordinance would grade Detroit restaurants with colors, letting diners quickly know how the establishment performed during inspections.

However, the city council voted against the ordinance Tuesday, citing concerns about putting more work on the health department.

"This council, this year in March of this year, approved a budget that would increase the health department by $200,000," said Councilman Scott Benson, who was pushing for the council to approve the system.

That new budget was supposed to be used to hire more inspectors. The city has 17 inspectors for its about 1,700 restaurants.

"So, we do have establishments that have not been inspected, or overdue for inspections right now, sounds like we're struggling with the workforce," Councilman Fred Durhal said. 

READ MORE: Detroit Lafayette Coney Island closed for rat droppings

Community activist -Malik Shabazz supports the food grading ordinance and hiring more inspectors.

"Clearly we're going to need more inspectors," he said. "If we're going to feed people sanitary food, it's important."

Others opposed the ordinance, like Charity Dean, the CEO Of the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance.

"Black businesses have a voice, and it's a new day in Detroit," she said. "The health department still exists. There still is inspections going on every day, and just like Lafayette Coney Island saw last week, when you're not doing what you're supposed to do, the health department is going to shut you down quickly. 

Lafayette was shut down after rat droppings were discovered inside the restaurant by the health department. 

Currently, each restaurant in Detroit usually gets inspected once a year unless there are complaints. Then the health department would inspect within 24 hours.

"When you have rats, you have rat hair, rat boo-boo, and rat urine in the food," Shabazz said.