FS1202:           Impact of Internet Posting of Restaurant Inspection Scores on Critical Violations

 

Speaker:          Blake Waters, MPA, PhD, LEHS

 

Posting restaurant inspection scores on the Internet as a tool for improving food safety is becoming more common. Studies have been conducted evaluating the effectiveness of posting restaurant inspection scores in windows, however there has not been an evaluation of the association between posting scores on the Internet and restaurant inspection results. Therefore, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department and the University of Utah conducted a joint study, which examined the effect of restaurant scores posted on the Internet and the occurrence of critical violations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between Internet posting of restaurant inspection scores and the five most frequently cited critical violations in Salt Lake County, Utah.

 

Hear the results of the study and a discussion of the essential elements in Salt Lake County's website that have proven to be successful in reducing critical violations. After attending this session you will be able to determine if posting restaurant scores would be beneficial for your specific jurisdiction.

 

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Posting restaurant inspection scores on the internet as a tool for improving food safety is becoming more common. Studies have been conducted evaluating the effectiveness of posting restaurant inspection scores in windows, however there has not been an evaluation of the association between posting scores on the internet and restaurant inspection results.

 

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between internet posting of restaurant inspection scores and the five most frequently cited critical violations in Salt Lake County, Utah.  The study examined 2,995 inspections conducted at 796 full service and fast food restaurants for a 1 year period before and after launch of a restaurant inspection website. Data in the retrospective, longitudinal study were analyzed using a generalized estimating equation (GEE). Critical violations decreased significantly after the website launch compared to before launch levels. The greatest improvements were found in temperature holding violations (odds ratio=0.75, p