Health reports posted at restaurants
Health inspections are given every year to restaurants, delicatessens and grocery stores, but until now these reports were never available on location.
After each health inspection, restaurants are now required to post a sign informing customers the health inspectors report is available for review.
The law went into effect Jan. 1 and was authored by California D-Sen. Byron Sher.
“I think it is important because it is good for the consumers,” said Karen Hoffman, environmental health specialist for El Dorado County Environmental Management Department. “I think they will be more aware of what goes on behind kitchen doors.”
The goal is to have all restaurants inspected with their information available on site by the end of the year. Hoffman said of 265 inspections about a quarter are complete.
“Customers are going to have more ready access to what the inspection is all about,” Hoffman said. “The only downfall I see is some of the consumers might not be aware of all the regulations, so they may not be able to interpret all the things that are on the report.”
Although the frequency of inspections has remained the same, not everyone has welcomed on-site health reports with open arms.
Tim Haloran, owner of Nephele’s restaurant, said posting a sign informing customers the health inspector’s report is available could cause unnecessary concern.
“I’d rather not concern my guests with the fact that they could look at my health inspection report,” Haloran said. “If someone wants to see it, that is fine. We get all A’s.”
Candice Williams, co-owner of The Cantina and Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe, said the sign posting is unnecessary because it is the health department, not the customer who enforces health violations.
“We don’t have a problem ourselves, because we take great pride in keeping our kitchens clean and neat and organized,” she said.
Williams said the inspector writes down all her observations, which don’t always include violations and could be misleading to the customer.
“I have no problem with it, but I don’t like that the state mandates it,” she said.
Kern McCarthy, co-owner of Goodfellas Pizza, said: “It’s kind of weird that someone can come off the street and look at (the health report).”
The restaurants interviewed for this article performed particularly well during their inspections, Hoffman said.
Hoffman said none of the restaurants has failed inspection this year, but in some cases minor infractions were corrected.
“I’m a new pair of eyes; that is the way I look at it,” she said.
If anyone has concerns about health code violations they can call the El Dorado County Environmental Management Department at 573-3450.
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