Health Department launches new restaurant inspection website

Health Department launches new restaurant inspection website

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Health Department has launched an all-new website for you to check out restaurant health inspections, and it's now mobile friendly, too.

"Maybe Friday night you want to see where you want to go downtown, and you want to see if they've been inspected," explained Julie Henderson, Director of Food and General Environmental Services at the Virginia Department of Health.

Now you can fire up the Health Department's new inspection website on a computer or on your smart phone. It's not an app, but the site was specially designed to work on mobile devices.

"You would just click this main page here," Henderson showed us on her phone.

First choose the district or county where the restaurant is located. Then you can type in the restaurant name, or choose from a list. Click on that restaurant, and you'll see its history of inspections, including how many critical and non-critical violations it had in each inspection. Then click on an inspection.

"It quickly shows red, critical, and blue," she showed us. Critical violations are types of problems that could make people sick if not corrected.

"The blue ones are still important, but they're typically violations that are non-critical. In other words, they might be a cleaning issue," Henderson said.

Be sure to read underneath the red and blue bar. It will state whether the restaurant corrected the violation during the inspection.

"And it will show if it's a 'repeat,'" explained Henderson. "So if we have observed that before in a prior inspection."

You can even see the temperatures the inspector found when they tested food. What you want to look for, when you're looking at a hot holding temperature, is that it needs to be 145 degrees or above. And cold holding temperatures need to be 41 degrees or below.

Check a few inspections to get an overall picture of how a restaurant fares on their check-ups.

Coming soon, we'll show how you can be a "Meal Detective" and tell the Health Department about problems you experience in restaurants.

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