How many tri-city or tri-state areas are there in the U.S.?
According to KULR NBC Channel 8, nearly 1,300 restaurants are inspected every year in the Tri-Cities area (we think it’s Washington state, but aren’t quite sure), but not many people know they can check their favorite restaurant’s inspection form online.
There is nearly one restaurant for every 150 people in the Tri-Cites, making it close to 1,300 food places to eat in Benton and Franklin counties.
Inspectors have a lot on their hands. There are six inspectors; so on average each on would have around 216 restaurants to inspect each year.
How do we really know what is happening behind closed doors?
Over the years, inspections have changed three times and have gotten stricter. Inspectors found more problems with produce washing, so they changed that policy, made temperature changes, and required new thermometers.
Inspectors and restaurants have to work hand-in-hand as well.
“There’s a stigma around that they’re here to get us. They’re out to get us. They’re not. They’re just here to help,” said Between the Buns owner, Thomas Smith.
That is what Smith has taught his employees. Between the Buns has had a mostly perfect inspection record since they first opened.
Food Program Supervisor Susan Shelton explained how it is not just the inspectors’ jobs to inspect but it is also up to the customers.
“If your questions aren’t answered and you can’t get your answers from a manager as well, then you might want to revisit where you’re going,” said Shelton.
To see how your favorite restaurant has done, go to the Benton-Franklin Health District’s website at www.bfhd.wa.gov. Click on the “Healthy Food” tab and find “Inspections” to view any restaurant’s grade.