TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - When people go into a restaurant they might see a score 82, 78 or even a 60. But what do scores like that actually mean?
Jill Reade, Tift County Health Department environmental health manager, said scores are something many people worry about but it is something she and her team work hard to fix.
“The score’s reflection of their compliance of the food rule. Which is a state regulation that is locally enforced. It gives the public an idea of their compliance,” Reade said.
Reade said not all bad scores are related to food. When inspecting any restaurant, they look at a number of factors.
“Our main focus is risk factors which is hot holding, cold holding, cooling, reheating and employee health is a big one and hand washing,” Reade said.
Reade said she doesn’t worry as much when going out to eat because the state of Georgia has strict healthcare rules.
“I guess I feel safe going out to eat in Georgia because we have such as great rule and that’s what our job is there for to prevent food-borne illnesses and keep the public safe,” Reade said.
Residents told WALB how they feel about places with a score below 60.
“Obviously, somebody not doing something right," Sandra Mckinnon said. “The temperature of the food is mostly the number one when its hot outside.”
“Somebody need to take a bulldozer and come tear it down,” Tranice Coleman, another resident, said.
Reade said whenever a restaurant gets an unsatisfactory rating, they are taught to go over risk safety procedures that will get them back on track.
Many Tifton residents were shocked about the health scores some of the city's restaurants received.
Residents said they heard about some of the restaurants closing and they just couldn’t understand why anyone would continue to eat there.
“Temperature of the food and then just cleanliness period," Mckinnon said. “The employees, you don’t know if they are washing their hands and all that kind of stuff and I’m kind of very particular about my food so there you go.”
“Unsanitary things ain’t been doing right poor management probably,” Bobby Ellis, another resident, said.
Georgia Department of Public Health officials said they are aware of any health violations.
Officials said they work to correct any problems there might be for the public’s safety.
If you ever want to report any suspicious or hazardous conditions in a restaurant, reach out to the health department in your area.