Restaurant inspections go online in Utah County

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It can be nerve-wracking when the health inspector comes to call, and now the Utah County Health inspection results will be posted online. Interested patrons can see the results of the past two to three inspections a restaurant has had.

“The FDA has categories for problems called non-critical and critical violations,” said Terry Beebe, Environment Health Division director for Utah County.

According to Beebe, the health department doesn’t use inspections to “catch” restaurants, but to educate people about safe food-handling techniques. However, it can still be a source of anxiety for restaurants.

Adrianne Syme, a Jamba Juice employee, said despite the nervousness the inspection brings, her workplace passes muster, so she doesn’t mind having results readily available.

“It’s a little scary just because you have someone in here to come and critique you,” Syme said. “We always pass our inspection, so I’m glad people can see we have a clean place.”

Shane Rickard, a waiter at Magleby’s, expressed similar confidence over the cleanliness of his workplace.

“I’ve worked at like five different restaurants, and this is by far the cleanest one I’ve worked at,” Rickard said

Rickard said he thought the rating was good for both restaurant owners and restaurant patrons to know the rating given a restaurant by the health inspector. But, he said ratings could be confusing or misleading for those outside the restaurant business.

“I think people should probably have a right to know what their rating is,” Rickard said. “But I also think some of the standards and guidelines that are in those ratings, unless you’re a restaurant owner, you really wouldn’t have an accurate understanding of what they rated it on and what they use the standard for.”

If a restaurant does have a violation listed online, a link is available to see what the problem was. Inspections can be found by going to UtahCountyHealth.org and following the link “restaurant inspection search.”

“Every restaurant needs to work on something,” Syme said.

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