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Old 08-23-2018, 05:34 PM
 
126 posts, read 156,707 times
Reputation: 103

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This isn't something that's all that appetizing to talk about, but do you consider health inspection findings when you go out to eat?

I used to pay a lot of attention to this, but lately I haven't given it much thought because it starts bothering me if I think about it too much.

In a lot of states, I know the health department gives a letter grade to restaurants that they have to post (well supposed to anyway). Here in my state, they don't give any score or grade to restaurants. The findings and violation lists are all public record, but it's kind of a pain in the butt to use their online search feature. Supposedly you can ask for their report, but who is going to ask the waitress for an inspection report??

So it seems the general public doesn't have a clue as to how the restaurants did since the information isn't really promoted much. The only places here that have to post the info are those that are inspected by the county such as schools, day cares and hospitals.

I'm not really aware of any restaurants around there that do terribly bad, like in the teens of violations, roaches, etc. But to me when the violation count starts to approach 10 or more, it makes me wary. Of course the severity of the violations is also something to consider. Some aren't really a health concern as much as appearance. I do understand that no one is perfect and there will be things that come up. And I'm sure restaurants that do more in house prep and have bigger menus will obviously tend to get more issues than those that just serve ice cream, for example.

I also am skeptical of restaurants that I look up and see that *EVERY* inspection results in "Warning given - call back required". That shows me that they really don't care about things until they get caught. They're just fixing things that the health department finds and then aren't bothering to implement some kind of training or self inspection. I won't give those places my money, I feel like they deserve to be exposed, ashamed and to clean up their act. They're hiding behind the anonymity of the system.

There are also fines, I know if restaurants have repeat violations or continually refuse to clean up violations. Generally I'm more of a small government person, but this is an area that I think needs better regulation. My state in particular cut funding in this area, which results in fewer inspections and lower fines when there are repeated violations.

There was also a concerning case where a large grocery chain here got cited with failed deli inspections due to temperatures and rodents. After they got exposed on the news, the health inspections got pulled from online. The person in charge of agriculture said something along the lines of a leader in the grocery industry shouldn't get bad press for minor infractions. Well, they weren't minor and they just happened to be a major supporter of his campaign. Of course he denied any relation to it, but it seemed suspicious to me.

Now of course, you can say my house is probably not up to health standards. Well, of course I know that. I don't sanitize my dishes with sanitizer or wear gloves, etc like a restaurant will. I'm cooking for myself. If I'm cooking for others or serving the public as a volunteer I do follow to the best that I know how.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:55 PM
 
17,159 posts, read 22,167,733 times
Reputation: 31228
no...not at all
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:25 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,970 posts, read 6,607,413 times
Reputation: 5679
My neighbor has a restaurant and they have gotten 100 scores for years, she lives in fear that the inspector will find a fruit fly and knock their score down and ruin their reputation.

I pay attention but it doesn't really influence my choices, generally if they are repeatedly getting bad scores the restaurant reflects it in quality and service and I've already written them off.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
183,850 posts, read 74,970,778 times
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When I walk into a restaurant I am my own health inspector. The restrooms are a good place to start. If they aren't clean I don't think the kitchen will be either.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:05 PM
Status: "Living the good retired life." (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,866 posts, read 3,144,350 times
Reputation: 11852
No state (or borough or city) health inspections where I live. Restaurants self-inspect.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Florida
659 posts, read 139,759 times
Reputation: 1563
We rarely go out to eat. There simply aren't many good restaurants in our area. We pay more attention, with a grain of salt, to reviews.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:24 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,564 posts, read 51,767,813 times
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Health inspection findings are posted weekly in our local newspaper and online. It's a slideshow and I sometimes make first 5 clicks and give up, as I would rather see it as a simple list.
Are those findings affecting my restaurant choices?
Not really. If the food is good, the restaurant seems to be clean and I didn't see anything suspicious on my plate or surroundings, or got sick from eating there - I continue going there at least till I hear/read really bad news about that place.
Pretty much in every restaurant happen some disturbing things (perhaps not in those having Michelin stars), so I just don't think about or get unnecessary worried.
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Old 08-24-2018, 05:10 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,278 posts, read 79,447,244 times
Reputation: 38646
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Health inspection findings are posted weekly in our local newspaper and online. It's a slideshow and I sometimes make first 5 clicks and give up, as I would rather see it as a simple list.
Are those findings affecting my restaurant choices?
Not really. If the food is good, the restaurant seems to be clean and I didn't see anything suspicious on my plate or surroundings, or got sick from eating there - I continue going there at least till I hear/read really bad news about that place.
Pretty much in every restaurant happen some disturbing things (perhaps not in those having Michelin stars), so I just don't think about or get unnecessary worried.
Ours as well. I do always read them but more for fun than anything else. I think some of the guide lines are a bit over the top. As mentioned earlier, I doubt many of us have kitchens that could get great scores on these inspections even if we are neat and clean freaks.
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:21 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,544 posts, read 42,708,506 times
Reputation: 57204
Our paper used to publish the scores, but no longer does. The scores were ABC and U.

After watching some of the restaurant rescue shows, I’m hesitant to eat out at all. It is one reason that I have nothing against chains over mom and pops. I think the chains have uniform standards.
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:37 AM
 
8,797 posts, read 9,620,365 times
Reputation: 6684
If I can find the results the inspection I will use them to make a decision on where to eat. I spent a long time having to eat out most of the time. I was traveling about seven months a year. I got food poisoning at least three times over a 13 year period.

Each time I got sick it was because I didn’t use my instincts about a place. One of those instincts is if the place is not very busy during what should be a busy time. That means the place does not have a very good reputation for some reason and food is sitting too long.
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