business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Consumerist reports that a year after New York City decided to mandate that restaurants there post letter grades reflecting their health inspection results, the city’s Health Department is considering an expansion of the program that would put a bar code on the posting that would allow potential patrons to access more extensive information about the grade.

All the information is already availably online - the bar code would just make it far more accessible to anyone with a smart phone.

According to the story, “The city's Buildings Department is already putting bar codes on construction permits so people can access details about the project, the building and violations related to the property's owner.”

One MNB user pointed this story out to me and asked: “Why not have an app that would allow a consumer to snag the bar code off any food package and compare it to a database of all known recall/safety issues for that product or related product?

Which is a good question. And only the beginning. Because there also is no reason that those same codes could not provide shoppers with an enormous amount of information about a product - from nutrition to food safety to recipe ideas - that would be accessible in the store or in one’s own kitchen.

It is the very definition of transparency ... coming soon, in all likelihood, to a restaurant or shopping aisle near you.

Like it or not.

And that is our Thursday Eye-Opener.
KC's View: