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Meghan Overdeep
July 25, 2018

From its noise level to parking availability, a restaurant’s Yelp profile can tell you everything you need to know an establishment. Except, of course, what really matters: whether or not the place is clean.

Until now, that is.

Yesterday, Yelp announced that it has begun providing "hygiene scores" for restaurants in New York, California, Texas, Illinois, and Washington, DC. According to CNNMoney, the company will continue to roll out the feature in the months to come, eventually covering as many as 750,000 restaurants in cities areas across the country.

Yelp

"The idea here is to take this information living on clunky dot-gov websites and put it inside Yelp where you're probably already trying {to} figure out where to go eat, and see it in the context of that decision," Luther Lowe, Yelp’s senior VP of public policy, told CNN.

Yelp hopes that making this information easily available on its platform will allow customers to make better decisions, and ultimately weed out restaurants whose hygiene practices fall short.

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It’s important to keep in mind, however, that health inspections vary from city to city and state to state, and as food safety expert Jeff Nelken pointed out to CNN, they can be influenced by the person performing the inspection.

So, use your best judgement and try not to take scores at face value, though it’s not exactly easy to get a super low score if your kitchen’s spotless.