Eating out is one of the most common social activities today. In addition to the convenience and speed it offers, eating out is also an avenue for socialization as well as cultural exchange. The satisfaction of eating in a clean, serene environment is a genuinely pleasant experience.
Routine Restaurant Health inspections are meant to ensure that retail food establishments comply with all health and safety guidelines. Restaurants are subjected to thorough regular inspections. However, many restaurants still fall short of the required health and safety standards.
The food from restaurants that do not meet up the standard may not show any evidence of a sub-standard kitchen or restaurant.
If you find out a restaurant in your vicinity is in violation of any health and safety codes, or if you happen to visit a restaurant that you believe may be slacking off on health and safety standards, you can submit your health inspection complaints here.
The inspection service applies to any retail food establishment such as restaurants, bars, food courts, as well as any establishment that dispenses food to individuals.
Restaurant health inspections are performed routinely by registered environmental health specialists so as to maintain quality, health, and safety standards throughout the year.
Food retail establishments are rated based on the following guidelines;
- Satisfactory – Demonstrates compliance with Chapter XXIV.
- Conditionally Satisfactory – A problem exists, such as a faulty dishwasher and a return inspection is necessary.
- Unsatisfactory – Shows gross, unsanitary conditions that are an immediate threat to the public, and this necessitates an immediate closing of the establishment.
The routine for inspection of retail food establishments depends on the level of risk associated with such organizations. For instance, if an establishment poses a higher level of risk of affecting public health, such an organization will be inspected more often than one that poses less of a threat. The level of risk associated with an establishment is determined by certain key factors.
The environmental health specialists examine the retail food establishments based on the types of food served, the amount of preparation that is required, the population that is served, and the quantity of food that is prepared. These factors are considered based on the recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Establishments may be inspected as often as four times a year. However, for schools that close for the summer, this inspection is done thrice in a year. Moderate risk establishments only need to be established two times a year (biannually), while for low-risk facilities, inspection is only required once a year.
Other than routine inspections, an inspection may also be required if a customer makes a complaint about the hygiene or health standard of such an organization. Inspection can also be scheduled if a restaurant needs to make adjustments based on the recommendation of a previous review. However, the timeframe needed to make such adjustments exceeds the date of the next routine inspection. Only re-inspections are announced prior to the date of the inspection. Routine and complaint inspections usually happen unannounced.
Before picking that restaurant for your next date, you can view their inspection report to ensure that you will not be putting yourself at risk by eating out.