home Promoting Health & Wellness SLO County restaurants, eateries earn high health ratings

SLO County restaurants, eateries earn high health ratings

The County conducted a total of 1,960 health inspections on more than 1,500 food facilities in the area in 2015 and 90 percent received a health score of 90 or higher. The lowest score was 73.5, which requires re-inspection.

Since the County uses a scoring system for health inspections, instead of a grading system, it’s difficult to assess what constitutes a high or low score, said County Environmental Health Specialist Pamela Moore.

The scoring system has a maximum score of 100 points, for which 98 points and above is considered a high score and anything below 90 is considered a low score. Health violations are worth anything from .5 to 6 points depending on the severity and risk to the public, Moore added.

The Environmental Health Services Division of the County’s Health Agency inspects food facilities throughout San Luis Obispo County to prevent the occurrence of foodborne illnesses; to promote the preparation, production and service of food in hygienic, properly equipped and maintained food facilities; and to protect the health of the food worker by encouraging safe and sanitary on-the-job working conditions. This Environmental Health Services Division also inspects body art facilities, beach water quality, above-ground storage tanks containing hazardous materials, planned land development projects, and many other services.

Many facilities had multiple inspections within 2015. High-risk facilities are inspected twice a year, medium risk facilities are inspected once every nine months, and low-risk facilities are inspected once a year. The types of inspections include routine inspections, re-inspections, and chargeable re-inspections.

“We do not determine if a facility requires a re-inspection based on score, but rather based on the overall assessment of the inspection and if the inspector feels they require a re-inspection, even if only for two or three violations, they may decide to do that, though a low score is usually the reason for an inspector to decide to re-inspect a facility since it can take a lot of violations to result in a low score,” Moore said.

Many similar violations can be lumped into one violation category, so losing one point for a violation for unapproved equipment for example, could actually mean that there were several items observed with regards to that violation code but the violation code was actually only entered one time so they only lost one point. That may not look bad on a score, but the inspector may want to re-inspect to verify that all of the unapproved equipment was replaced with approved items.

Environmental Health inspectors will revisit any facility that requires re-inspection within one month, but if a facility doesn’t require re-inspection, it will only be revisited at the next regular inspection date either six, nine, or 12 months later, depending on the facility.

Inspection Totals in 2015

Total inspections performed in 2015: 1960
Number of facilities receiving at least one inspection in 2015: 1428

Score breakdowns

Editor’s note: The following score breakdowns are based on all inspections performed, including multiple inspections done at the same facility (i.e. percentages were generated from the first tab of the attached report).

Percentage of inspections with a score of 98 or higher: 35% ( 685/1960 * 100).
Percentage of inspections with a score between 90 to 97.5: 55%(1080/1960 * 100).
Percentage of inspections with a score of 89 or lower: 10% (195/1960 * 100).

Use the following search to view inspection results for local food facilities, including restaurants and grocery stores. Only fixed facilities are included; mobile facilities, temporary food facilities, cottage food facilities, or farmers markets are not included.

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