When it comes to dining out, for Janie Douglas there’s a sheet of paper that carries more weight than an establishment’s menu.
Before placing her order, she searches for the restaurant’s health inspection score.
“If they have less than a 95, I go elsewhere,” said Douglas, a Gainesville resident.
“I’m willing to bend on a few points, but if it’s too low I’d be to scared to eat their food. I don’t wanna get sick.”
The Georgia Department of Community Health has made it easier for interested parties like Douglas to know if a restaurant made the grade prior to leaving their homes. The department has recently launched an online database of health inspection scores statewide.
The information is broken down by county and shows the latest inspection information.
“The food inspection process ensures that food is handled, stored and prepared safely for human consumption,” said Scott Uhlich, department director of environmental health.
“This tool will allow Georgians the opportunity to make informed decisions when dining out.”
The Georgia Department of Human Resources regularly inspects restaurants and mobile food operations to ensure that they meet certain health standards. At least once a year, health officials inspect for such items as employee hygiene, food temperatures and cooking methods to ensure they are up to par.
Establishments are given a score based on a 100-point scale. The lower the score, the more health violations that were found.
If an establishment receives an “unsatisfactory” score — numerically a 69 or lower — and fails to score at least a C on the 10-day follow-up inspection, health officials request that the business closes until all violations are cleared up.
“I know that an 85 is pretty good in terms of school grades, but if I see a restaurant with a inspection score that low, I’m definitely not eating there,” said George Alexander, a Buford resident.
“That’s just gross.”