Have you ever wondered about the safety of the food that you eat at your neighborhood restaurant? Ever wonder when it was last inspected? Well, depending on where you live, you may be able to search online for the latest inspection scores for the restaurants in your area.
All states and counties have rules and regulations about the safe handling of food including periodic inspections of the establishments. Generally, the inspection scores are the result of routine inspections covering critical and non-critical items. Many states and counties have created websites which provide the results of the inspections. Some of the websites include not only cover restaurants but also retail stores and food manufacturers.
The State of Pennsylvania is working towards creating a statewide inspection reporting system and has created the website “EastSafePA” which provides links to a variety of programs related to food safety. Pennsylvania has a website “Food Safety Inspection Results” which links to inspection results from 12/10/2010 to present and a link to inspection results prior to 12/10/2010, both of which can be searched by county and zip code.
Some of the other states that provide searches by county are: Alabama, Iowa, Michigan and Virginia. Alaska’s restaurant inspection reports can be searched by community. In Mississippi, you can sort by county and by type of establishment including food, milk and seafood processors, as well as other categories. Rhode Island not only provides restaurant inspection scores but school inspection scores as well.
Using “Free Public Records Directory – Permits” you can determine if your state, county or city provides restaurant inspection scores online. You can read our June 28, 2010, article entitled, “Check Out a Restaurant Before You Dine” about New York City’s website of inspection scores for over 24,000 city restaurants.
Having access to this information helps the consumer to make informed decisions about where they eat. Now you can have a meal at your favorite restaurant knowing that it not only tastes good but was prepared in a clean and safe environment.