Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Restaurant ratings

The recalls of Veggie Booty and Super Veggie Tings are, sadly, only the latest items in a spate bad news about of food- and product-safety. So it might be a good time to mention a useful Web site for anyone - vegetarian or not - who dines out in Forsyth County: the health department’s site for restaurant inspection reports.

This site is almost addictive. You can see what inspections were done the prior week, or search by name to find out how your favorite restaurant did on its most recent few inspections. If you come across a strikingly horrifying number, you can click on the report to see exactly what is behind it.

It used to be that restaurants in this area received a letter grade. I really learned to look for those one day when I noticed a restaurant had a C grade - only after I had finished my meal there. Now, I always look for the number before ordering.

Anything under a 90 makes me hesitate, and if a restaurant fell under 85, I would try to talk my dining companions into choosing another place. (Of course, my fastidious friends would probably already be running for the door.)

How much attention do you pay to restaurant sanitation ratings, and how low will you go before walking away?

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