We've had a rating system for sometime here. There was a whole slew of "audits" by the provincial safety and sanitation officer several years back, around my training days.
The rating was and still is very simple. Posted someplace viewable on the front before entering is a sign stating that this eatery was audited on [insert date] by [insert S&S rep's name] and got a Green Pass/Yellow Conditionary Pass/Red Fail. A restaurant is alloted some time to fix up if failed but remains closed till the changes are in affect. Yellow allows you to remain open and infractions aren't too serious but still needs to be fixed under a time frame or risk a Red Fail. Green is obviously the seal of approval. There is suppose to be a government website that'll list restaurants and have their Safety and Sanitation records for viewing (nothing deep, just the basics of why a G/Y/R rating). These officers have the right and power to dismiss anyone and close any place but at the same time, be there to help. And btw, all visits are unannounced.
Its a relatively good system but not perfect. Reps look at everything from storage, food holding temperatures hot and cold, proper food handling, pretty much all the basics but literally, ALL. And each employee must by law, have done Basic Food Safety/Sanitation Training (Basic FST) and passed the test which will license you for 5 years (forcing retraining every 5 years or less). Nobody has ever scored a perfect to my knowledge.
The main drawback are the uncontrollable and unexpected can absolutely kill your rating. Having 3 kitchen staff calling in sick with nobody to replace them while your supplier quickly offloads 3 crates of moldy fruits and veggies and doesn't even stay long enough to grab a confirmation signature all while being audited during the lunch rush...if the guy is nice and understanding enough, he'll let you go with a yellow. I once got an ear full from the manager at the time when we lost major scores in safety in my part but it doesn't help having done 2 full weeks of breakless double shifts.
Some changes are required to keep food safe but there are some rules and changes that are just plain stupid that takes up precious few minutes you could be using to make sure the job gets done, let alone get done right with a clean and sanitized work area. Like the minimum time for lathering up hands was everything between 10-20 seconds...realistically, how long do you really lather and scrub up? Some rules are just not realistic but most are common sense. As much as Food Safety and Sanitation standards help, they also hold you back and it'll vary from place to place.