NYC begin requiring restaurants to post their health inspection grades in their windows in July, and that got Henry Alford wondering how sanitary his own kitchen is. So he decided to find out. At noon one day last week he called the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and scheduled a visit from an inspector the next afternoon, one hour before he planned to serve friends a big lunch (an attempt to level the playing field, since restaurants get no warning)—giving him 27 hours to clean.
"Having formulated the theorem, 'It can’t be a violation if it doesn’t exist,' I removed seven garbage bags’ worth of opened foods and assorted flotsam from my kitchen. I used antibacterial wipes on any surface my cats may have walked on." And then she arrived: His fridge was too warm, his meat thermometer busted, his cutting board nicked, and ... those cats. The final number of violations? 77. "Flunkadelic." On the upside, the inspector offered feeble praise, like “your covered garbage can is great.” And his friends ate the lunch he whipped up in his failure of a kitchen. Click here to read the New York Times story in its entirety.