Yelp announced it would be rolling out health scores nationally last month. While San Francisco country has been dealing with this issue since 2013, the neighboring counties are already seeing problems with this expanded roll out.
San Mateo county is reporting issues with how their non-numerical scores are being converted into a numerical score. Yelp is working with a third party, HD Scores, which converts Cal code violations into a numerical score for counties that have a placard system. HD Scores developed a scoring system that is much more stringent than the counties Department of Public Health. For example, you could have two different food facilities with identical violations, one in SF and one in San Mateo and the scores on Yelp would be very different, with San Mateo’s being much lower.
There are concerns about incorrect and misleading information that consumers are receiving about Cal code violations being converted through an algorithm into a numerical score. We are staying on top of this issue and will update our membership, both in and out of SF county, as developments are made.
Transparency of information to the public is very important but that information must be meaningful and accurate.
County Health Scores can be found here: