Illinois county begins posting restaurant inspections

Public health officials in Champaign County have, according to Illinois Public Media, spent three years studying how to best publicize restaurant inspection results.

They need to study some more.

The county health district is posting online the names of the restaurants that have been inspected and whether they need to be re-inspected, but they aren’t saying whether the restaurants have failed inspections and they aren’t posting their inspection scores. And the district does not say clearly whether a restaurant has been closed.

A “good standing” label means that the facility scored 36 points or higher on a 100-point scale, but the district still isn’t giving the public the actual scores.

“I think that publicizing the inspection reports is a good idea,” said Julie Pryde, the public health administrator. “I think just publicizing a score may be misleading. A restaurant score is not the same as a grade on a test for example. There is more information that needs to be communicated.”

The system these folks have come up with is ponderous, paternalistic, and not supported by any research.

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About Doug Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here.