SAN MATEO COUNTY (BCN) — The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a new program for restaurant placards on Tuesday that they hope will make food safety inspection scores easier to understand for the general public.

Starting in January 2016, thousands of food service facilities in San Mateo County will use a color-coding system with green, yellow and red placards to indicate the level of food safety observed during that business’s most recent inspection.

Green placards indicate that the restaurant passed inspection.

Yellow means that the restaurant passed on a conditional basis and will be inspected again in no more than three days. Red means the restaurant will be closed until unsafe conditions can be corrected, according to county staff.

The program has already been implemented in other Bay Area counties, and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors hopes this move will provide greater consistency for the public as well as food service operators with a presence in multiple areas.

The county plans to train food service workers on how to earn a green inspection placard under the new system in June. More information about the county’s placard program is available on the county’s website at