Health inspectors in Southern Colorado are keeping a watchful eye on restaurants and other food service providers. The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment can now show customers how well they're doing.
Michelle Martinez knows her way around a kitchen, especially ones that aren't her own.
"You don't want to eat somewhere, go to bed and wake up sick in the middle of the night. That's not fun," Martinez said.
As an environmental health specialist, she knows restaurants, and how a customers' food should be handled. A typical facility inspection includes checks on food preparation and storage temperatures as well as overall hygienic conditions.
If there's a problem found, it now goes online.
"I think it will help encourage the owners and managers to do a better job and have good inspections," said Martinez.
The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment’s web site shows inspection results posting the date, plus critical and non-critical violations. Up until recently, consumers would have to look up the health inspection records at the department of health.
"[The online report] is a snap-shot of that particular day and generally, most things can be corrected on the spot," said Steve Kanatzar, owner of the Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs.
Kanatzar typically gets an unannounced inspector visit at least twice a year. The results released on the website provide one set of results from one specific visit. The visits provide learning opportunities for Steve and his staff.
"The health department and restaurants are in concert, together we want to make sure we have the same goal," he said. "We want to make sure the food we have is safe."
Consumers can see now for themselves by glancing at an online track record. The online inspection reports for El Paso County go back to January of 2009. Reports from years past can still be found at the health department.
To visit the county health inspection page, click on the link below.
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