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New York City using Yelp reviews to track outbreaks of food poisoning


Remember when Yelp added hygiene inspection ratings to its restaurant reviews? Now, New York City is using the review service to work out which outlets are responsible for outbreaks of food poisoning. According to a study from the Center of Disease Control, researchers searched for words like "sick," "diarrhea" and "vomit" in reviews to look for any repeat offenders. Given that people don't normally report the odd case of "bad shrimp," these reviews are an easy way for authorities to stage interventions. This time out, for instance, the city was able to shut down three places that exhibited poor hygiene practices like poor sanitization, bare-hand contact with food and, best of all, live mice. Unfortunately, neither Yelp nor the City is revealing which businesses were found guilty, so we'd all best get scouring those reviews.

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