OPINION: Restaurant inspection policy will offer needed transparency

Published 11:26 am Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Transparency is key in most situations and that is certainly the case when it comes to the Clark County Health Department’s recent consideration of a new policy that would require local restaurants to post their health inspection scores.

Carlene Whitt, environmental health program manager with the health department, recently proposed the policy at a Clark County Board of Health meeting.

She said she believes the requirement would create transparency for restaurant-goers, and it would result in a heightened FDA Food Code compliance among the restaurants.

The board asked Whitt to bring a more detailed plan of action to a future meeting for a vote.

The inspections assess a variety of factors that go into the overall food safety and health practices of restaurants.

The Sun previously reported that the health department’s Consumer Health Protection Division inspects not only restaurants but also food sold at community events. Environmentalists inspect food establishments every six months and other retail markets once a year.

Environmentalists must score establishments out of 100 with passing being a score anywhere between 85 to 100. For food establishments, environmentalists check proper labels, storage, temperatures, personal hygienic practices and supervision, equipment and utensil sanitation, water sources, sewage and waste disposals, plumbing, toilet and handwashing facilities, garbage disposals, insect, rodent and animal control, outer openings, ventilation, general cleanliness, lighting and other operations.

Many surrounding counties already have similar policies in place and we think Clark County should be next in line.

Knowing that local restaurants and other sites are practicing good hygiene and safe food handling will offer a necessary peace of mind of local diners.

We encourage the board to approve this new policy so Clark County restaurant-goers can make more informed dining choices.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and managing editor Whitney Leggett. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095.