Michael Scott eats: restaurant inspections in Scranton and elsewhere to go online at state website

Diners in Scranton, Pennsylvania, famous as the home of The Office, will soon be able to check food-inspection reports from all of their favorite eateries online.

Michael Scott will need to learn to use a computer.

With enactment of a state law, Act 106, in late January, people will soon be able to find all reported restaurant inspection reports online at a state Department of Agriculture website. The law also codifies common standards for municipalities across the state to follow.

Before the law took effect, 167 local jurisdictions were permitted to have their own inspection processes and reporting mechanisms.

In Scranton, the administration is acquiring a hand-held electronic device from the Agriculture Department at no cost that will allow the health inspector to gather data at a food establishment, bring it back to City Hall and transmit it to the state for posting, said Mark Seitzinger, licensing, inspections and permits director. Council authorized the city’s acquisition of the device last week.

"We are creating a letter that will be sent to all businesses," Mr. Seitzinger added. "Our health inspections are done on a yearly basis."

For more information, go to www.agriculture.state.pa.us, keyword "Food Safety Inspection Results."