Safe eating guide to the Big Apple

The New York City Health Department has come up with a restaurant guide that might prove as popular as the commercial collections.

It's a new Web site that lists health code violation points.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said his department is queried so often about code violations they decided to simplify access to it. The site had been getting an estimated 7 million hits a year. When the redesign was unveiled the other day it got so many hits it crashed. Access problems continue, so if you try to use it and can't get through, be patient. My call to the department revealed that access is intermittent as techies work on de-bugging the new site.

The site allows the public to search for restaurants by name, ZIP code, borough and neighborhood. It also allows users to sort restaurants by violation points.

Scores below 27 are deemed safe, 28 or higher not so safe. Officials said about 10 percent of the city's 20,000 eateries fail inspection each year and about 500 are closed.
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