Is Your Favorite Restaurant Making the Grade?

January 19, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ga-(WTVM)- It may not take much homework to find out whether your favorite restaurant is making the grade.   That's because posting requirements have changed for all restaurants in Georgia.

"They have to actually be posted in the drive through window as well as inside the establishment within so many feet of the door," says Columbus Health Department Public Information Officer Pamela Fair.

Fair says the point is to make it easier for folks to find and understand the information, whether out or online.

The Health Department has even beefed up its website and ability to search scores at  Consumers can also check out scores for Alabama restaurants online.

"You can find it by score, you can find it by the most recent inspections that we've made or you can just look it up by the alphabetical letter of the restaurant," says Fair.

Establishments now also get a letter grade along with their score.  A,B and C or U for "unsatisfactory".

An unsatisfactory or two consecutive "Cs" triggers an immediate re-inspection.

Fair also says consumers should pay close attention to the second page of the inspection report.

Restaurants aren't required to post it, but it contains information you don't want to miss.

"If you really want to get to the nit and grit of what happened during the inspection you should check out the page two on our website," adds Fair.

That's where we found inspector's comments about roaches being in the back of stores, plus improper storage and outdated food.

The bottom line says Fair, "More and more we see that people are wanting to eat at home but they're still eating things that are prepared, so they're taking it home, and so we just kind of want patrons to understand they can still find out what that restaurant score is."

Health department officials say they may soon be posting hotel and pool safety inspection reports online as well.