NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg was crowing Tuesday about New York City’s restaurant letter grade system.

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During the system’s first full year, the city’s number of salmonella cases, a strong indicator of food poisoning, fell to a 20-year low.

In contrast, his honor pointed out that, “In Connecticut, New Jersey, and the rest of New York state, salmonella ratings have remained largely unchanged. So, it’s down 14 percent here, but in all of the surrounding areas it has not changed at all. We have a rating system and they don’t.”

The mayor also chides those who say the letter grades would hurt restaurants, pointing out overall revenues for them have risen 9.3 percent – or $800 million – since the grades have been handed out.

72 percent of the restaurants have an “A” – up 65 percent from a year ago.

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“With restaurants making improvements, diners across the city have many more ‘A’ grade restaurants to choose from,” said Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs. “New Yorkers are paying attention to grades in restaurant windows and restaurant operators are clearly paying attention to food safety practices and cleanliness. Restaurants are making the grade and early results show foodborne illness is declining.”

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The mayor also pointed out the results of a Baruch College poll on restaurant grades.

“91 percent of New Yorkers approve of posting grades. The survey also revealed that 88 percent of New Yorkers factor the letter grades into their decisions about where to dine out,” said Bloomberg.

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What do you think about the restaurant grades? Would you eat at one that got a B? Sound off in the comments section below!