New color-coded inspection scorecards will be easier for restaurant customers to see and read, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
Use of the new placards, which eateries must display publicly, began Monday. The signs feature a restaurant’s inspection score in a green box for a passing grade and red for a failing grade. The cards also have check boxes that clearly show areas of concern and violations.
“These new placards allow customers to immediately determine if a restaurant passed or failed and provide information about violations,” health department spokesman Kevin Hall said. “Also, they’re designed to be easier to read and look better on the walls or in the windows of Lexington’s restaurants.
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Health department inspectors will begin using an electronic system this week that will allow them to upload their findings without delay. The system will eliminate administrative staff time for data entry and will allow staff easy access to past inspection records and previous violations, according to the health department.
“Any steps we can take to improving our inspection process is beneficial to the people of Lexington,” Hall said. “Our restaurant inspections help protect every person who dines out in Lexington, and this gives us another way to help Lexington be well.”
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department regulates about 1,550 restaurants and inspects each of them at least twice a year. A passing grade is 85 or higher with no three-, four- or five-point violations, and a failing grade is 84 or lower. A listing of all possible violations can be found in the health department’s food service regulations.
Inspection grades for Lexington restaurants can be looked up on the health department’s website. The grades have been posted online since 2013.