Restaurant inspection reports: Hawaii embraces openness, northern Utah not, so much

Sorry, northern Utah diners. If you want to see a restaurant inspection report online, expect to do your own detective work and, in many cases, prepare to be disappointed. health boards are given broad latitude by state administrative code governing food service sanitation, which has led to varied availability of restaurant inspection data on the internet.

The Weber-Morgan health board does not provide a public restaurant inspection database on its website. It does, however, offer an “Establishments Under Enforcement” section that names the affected restaurants and gives a few words about the nature of their critical violations. Complete reports are not available.

As of Monday, April 18, five Weber County restaurants were under enforcement. All of them are in Ogden and all were censured for repeat critical violations.

Restaurants stay on this virtual wall of shame until they correct critical deficiencies to the satisfaction of health inspectors.

At the 817 food establishments in the two counties, 1,697 inspections were conducted in 2015, according to information provided by Michelle Cooke, food safety program manager.

Four restaurants were under scrutiny at the highest risk level (level 4), meaning they have exceeded infractions on an 11-factor inspection scale, have had previous enforcement actions within the past two years, warning notices issued or documented cases of foodborne illnesses. Level 4 restaurants are re-inspected within three months.

“Facilities and restaurants are placed on corrective action when the deadline to correct a critical issue has passed and there has been no good-faith attempt to fix the problem,” Cooke said in a provided statement.

northern.utah.restaurantMost violations stem from a restaurant not having a food safety manager on duty at all times, Cooke said.

“This is required by Utah law and is important because they have a more detailed knowledge of foodborne illnesses and how to prevent them,” she said.

Since 2006, Davis County health board policy has called for all restaurant inspection reports to be available online. However, a recent technology change cut previous inspection records from the department website. Inspections conducted since the technology switch are available, but a search for many restaurants at this time will return no results.