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Will Crawford

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Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yelp

by Will Crawford » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:40 pm

According to the Courier Journal, Louisville will be the second city to release health inspection scores to Yelp.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/ ... lp-website
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Deb Hall

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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Deb Hall » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:52 pm

Wow. Did Mayor Fischer's office get any feedback on this from the restaurant community before deciding to do this? Seems like it could cause irreparable harm to a place that received a low score for a stupid mistake ( ie employees drinks in a workspace, etc). I know the scores are available on-line now, but most folks would never check.

Check out how they appear on Yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/gary-danko-san-francisco
It gets billing above the restaurant hours- very visible.

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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Will Crawford » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:06 pm

Top. Just under the website.

No more open cups in the kitchen.
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Mark R. » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:59 pm

It's too bad Metro government isn't as open with information about how they operate as they are with information pertinent to others like in this case. Certainly would be nice if they published complete budget information on a website open to the public.
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Andrew Hutto » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:09 am

A segment of business already beleaguered with regulations gets singled out again. One health inspector will tell you employees may have drinks in the kitchen if they are covered and on the hand sink, while a different one will cite that as a five point violation. One told me an employee using / texting on their cell phone is a five point violation. Once they discover a five, it gets ugly. There are five point violations that are critical... Improper storage of chemicals, dented or bloated cans... Totally understandable... But to cite me for an employee texting? Can you think of a more difficult rule to try to enforce in today's culture? Do I now have to go to the bathroom with my employees( and customers) to make sure they wash their hands? One health inspector told me about hand washing in the kitchen ' ideally, we would like them to wash their hands, dry them with a paper towel and then turn the water off with the paper towel they dried their hands with' Another says ' we hate the use of latex gloves in the kitchen because employees are less likely to wash their hands when they have gloves on'. Frustrating to say the least. Even more frustrating is that people in government that have never been in our business want to regulate it, nor do they take time to ask for our input.I have never, ever in 32 years in the biz, run across an operator who did not have his customers safety first and foremost. I would gladly switch jobs with the mayor for a week and let him try to do what we do. Rant over.
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Mark R. » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:05 am

Excellent post Andrew!
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Adriel Gray » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:05 pm

“Bureaucracies force us to practice nonsense. And if you rehearse nonsense, you may one day find yourself the victim of it.”
― Laurence Gonzales, Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things :?
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Dan Thomas » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:31 pm

A prime example about how uneven inspections can be.
Here at the JCPS Nutrition Service Center, we were visited by the local health dept. for a surprise inspection a few months back. Apparently the state who use to be responsible for routine inspections has turned over inspections of facilities such as ours over to the locals in a budget cut move.
Even though the outgoing state inspector was with the locals showing them the ropes, they seemed very ill equipped and un-trained to inspect a facility such as our 85,000 sq. ft. commissary operation. So of course they took a ham fisted approach.......

Unfortunately, I got docked for a hand sink that was fully stocked with soap and paper towels and very assessable, but because I never use that one, and it has a no-touch electric eye switch, the water was running cold.
I pointed out to the inspectors that I indeed have THREE designated hand sinks in my area but the only one I really use is the one closest to my work station. And yes the water was the proper 110 coming out of that one. Also since that I'm the only person that is allowed into and uses my kitchen, that seemed a little ridiculous to me.

In striking comparison, we had just recently gotten a surprise inspection from the FDA a couple of months ago that was the most thorough inspection I've ever been privy to. They were here 8 hours a day for an entire week observing our practices, they combed through all the records and swabbed every conceivable surface for lab testing. However, we passed with flying colors, check pluses and smiley faces. :D The inspectors actually told us that we have a model facility.
But according to the locals, instead of a 100% score, we have a 96, because of one hand sink that never gets used. :roll:
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Robin Garr » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:07 pm

Restaurant inspections are public records, so we can't really blame the mayor for letting them out. I'd object if the city tried to lock up records that the public has a right to see. Somewhere on HotBytes, we provide a link for people who want to go to the Metro Healthy site and look.

Frankly, I wouldn't do what Yelp has done. It kind of harshes the mellow of restaurant reviews, and - like a lot of the other "AstroTurf grassroots" national corporate producers of "local" food sites, they need to get their hits to satisfy advertisers, and controversy sells. :?
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Alison Hanover » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:14 pm

I totally agree with you Andrew, some of the rules are ridiculous and I tell my health inspector point blank that they are stupid!! He usually laughs at me!

Andrew Hutto wrote:A segment of business already beleaguered with regulations gets singled out again. One health inspector will tell you employees may have drinks in the kitchen if they are covered and on the hand sink, while a different one will cite that as a five point violation. One told me an employee using / texting on their cell phone is a five point violation. Once they discover a five, it gets ugly. There are five point violations that are critical... Improper storage of chemicals, dented or bloated cans... Totally understandable... But to cite me for an employee texting? Can you think of a more difficult rule to try to enforce in today's culture? Do I now have to go to the bathroom with my employees( and customers) to make sure they wash their hands? One health inspector told me about hand washing in the kitchen ' ideally, we would like them to wash their hands, dry them with a paper towel and then turn the water off with the paper towel they dried their hands with' Another says ' we hate the use of latex gloves in the kitchen because employees are less likely to wash their hands when they have gloves on'. Frustrating to say the least. Even more frustrating is that people in government that have never been in our business want to regulate it, nor do they take time to ask for our input.I have never, ever in 32 years in the biz, run across an operator who did not have his customers safety first and foremost. I would gladly switch jobs with the mayor for a week and let him try to do what we do. Rant over.
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Joel F » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:48 am

Speaking as a consumer: a score on yelp generally would not influence my decision. I go to sites like yelp to hear people talk about the food and that's what sells me... or doesn't.

Even the lowest priced establishment should not face a challenge in keeping the dining areas and public restrooms clean. Properly clean -- and with proper fixtures (FFS).

Unless the food is nirvana-level then a grungy front of house / restroom is generally going to kill my interest after 2 visits. Because it either means someone is clueless or can't be bothered.
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Joe Hayden » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:54 pm

Just as an FYI - there is a local website run by Michael Schnuerle that does provide this information.

http://www.metromapper.org/map-louisvil ... urants.php

I can see where there is debate over the fairness and validity of these ratings, but for those looking for a resource, especially a local resource, you can consider the Metro Mapper page. You can also imbed those maps into your own website...
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Mark R. » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:23 pm

Joe Hayden wrote:Just as an FYI - there is a local website run by Michael Schnuerle that does provide this information.

Why bother going to a third-party website when you can get the information directly from the health department's page on the Metro government website?
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Joel F » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:45 pm

FYI

the mapper site appears to be a place where data sets are placed in the context of a map. it's coming at the information from a different angle, and is not only concerned with / offering restaurant scores.

there are a variety of initiatives to re-present publicly available data, for maps, for apps etc all over the place.

quite different from "I want to know if the Haufbrau Haus on 42nd St has a good rating from the health inspectors".
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Re: Restaurant health inspection scores to be visible on Yel

by Joe Hayden » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:29 pm

Mark R. wrote:
Joe Hayden wrote:Just as an FYI - there is a local website run by Michael Schnuerle that does provide this information.

Why bother going to a third-party website when you can get the information directly from the health department's page on the Metro government website?


I guess I was just pointing out that there are other resources, local in nature, that also provide this information besides Yelp. Certainly you can get it directly from the source if you are so inclined.
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