Santa Barbara County restaurant goers eager to find out exactly how much care is being taken in the kitchenss that prepare their food may want to look into a new service being offered by the County Public Health Department: online postings of health inspections. The system has a few kinks to be worked out – for example, links that don’t yet seem to go anywhere and an interface that only lets users search restaurants by name instead of scrolling over a list of the highest-to-lowest ranked eateries – but as of January 2, the service has been conceivably helping to make necessary information about these approximately 2,700 establishments all the easier to get.
“This tool allows consumers to quickly and conveniently check whether restaurants and other food facilities are meeting appropriate health and safety standards,” said Rick Merrifield, Director of Environmental Health Services, in a written statement. “This approach has an advantage over grading systems in that it provides specific information on major violations identified in the inspections and indicates when the major violations identified have been corrected.”
The most egregious infractions that health inspectors – and, for that matter, diners – should be watching out for include improper food holding temperatures, employee illness, improper cooling and reheating, infestation of rodents or insects, improper food storage and handling, lack of hot and cold running water, or improper disposal of wastewater.