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Federal grant to help Newton with food safety, restaurant grading system

Posted by Deidre Fernandes  September 21, 2012 04:08 PM

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Newton’s Health and Human Services Department received a $350,000, five-year grant aimed at improving food safety in the city, developing a restaurant grading system and training city and food-establishment staff on proper procedures.

Newton was the only community in Massachusetts to receive this grant from the Food and Drug Administration, the city announced in a press release Friday. The FDA awarded nearly 40 grants nationwide, according to the release.

“I am proud that Newton can serve as a model community in promoting the health and safety of our residents,” Mayor Setti Warren said in the release.

In the first year of the grant, the city will hire a part-time standards coordinator who will oversee the project and help purchase or develop electronic food inspection software.

In subsequent years, the city plans to document polices for food inspections, create an advisory group of restaurant owners and managers and develop a restaurant grading system.

The city is trying to reduce the risk of illnesses from food prepared at restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores, the release states.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com

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