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Yelp adds restaurant hygiene scores to reviews

A Yelp sign

Yelp is adding hygiene scores to restaurant reviews.  | AP Photo

Yelp is adding hygiene scores to its business profiles.

So far, Yelp has rolled out hygiene scores for restaurants in New York, California, Illinois, Texas and Washington, D.C. Eventually, three quarters of the U.S. population across 42 states will have access to hygiene scores on Yelp, the company announced Tuesday.

“We know from a study of the Los Angeles restaurant industry that when consumers have better access to restaurant hygiene scores, the number of hospitalizations due to foodborne illness drops, and best practices improve across the industry,” said Yelp’s senior vice president of public policy Luther Lowe in a blog post.

Since 2013, Yelp has added health inspection information to more than 200,000 business pages, Lowe wrote.

“Just this year a different study found that posting restaurant hygiene scores prominently on Yelp leads to a 12% decrease in purchase intentions for restaurants with poor scores relative to those with higher scores,” wrote Lowe.