Food facility inspections: Frequently Asked Questions

Published: Monday, Jun. 9, 2008 - 12:19 am
Last Modified: Friday, Aug. 15, 2008 - 12:53 pm

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Where do the health inspection records come from?

The information for our database comes from Sacramento County's Environmental Management Department, which is in charge of inspecting the county's approximately 5,000 food facilities and holding them to the standards set by the state health code.

How far back do the records go? And when do they get updated?

Our database contains health inspection records as far back as July 2005. The database is updated on a daily basis with new reports from the county's website.

What do the colors for the inspection results mean?

Since 2007, Sacramento County has instituted a colored placard program to indicate the rating of food facilities. A green placard means that the facility passed with no more than one major violation, corrected or mitigated during the inspection. A yellow card indicates that the business had two or more major violations; a reinspection is required within 72 hours. A red card is given when there is an imminent health danger, such as a pest infestation or a lack of hot water. The facility is to remain closed until a reinspection confirms that the hazard is fixed.

Read more about the placard system at the county's website

According to the county's site, this restaurant's latest placard is green. Why does The Bee's interactive map mark it with a yellow or red icon?

Our search feature allows users to search by food facilities' performance during their latest routine, unannounced inspections. Virtually all food facilities will have green placards posted, but only after hazards are fixed and a reinspection is performed.

How can I read the actual inspection reports?

The county posts Adobe PDF files of all the inspections in the last two routine inspection cycles on their website.

I'm having trouble finding places with the search

For facility names, avoid using non-alphanumeric characters. For example, do a search for "joe" as opposed to "Joe's Pizza."

Where are the reports for the surrounding counties?

We are currently working on getting inspection data from the surrounding counties.

Visit the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department web site.

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