The state has started a website that you access to the inspection reports on over 20-thousand restaurants in the state. It’s called the “Informed Dining” website — and will let you access on-line health department inspection reports for all the state’s restaurants.
David Werning of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals says it’s a site to give you an idea of the safety of the eating establishments. Although they’re technical reports, Werning says you’ll be able to decipher what’s good and what’s bad. He says they anticipated there might be a problem as reports sometimes seem technical. But, he says they’ve included a guide that tells you what to look for.
Werning says the website explains exactly how restaurants are inspected and lets you know who to contact if you have complaints. Werning says if you find your favorite eatery had a bad report, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the restaurant is a danger to your health.
He says any kind of inspection is a “snapshot in time” and in any particular restaurant they any time of day or night and might be able to find violations. But he says they hope they don’t find critical violations that would endanger consumers. And he says the website will show if there were followups and continued problems.
Werning says having the inspection reports more open to the public should help keep the establishments on their toes. He says for the most part word of mouth is what helps restaurants, and he says with the owners knowing the reports are available, they may be a little more careful about what goes on in their kitchens.
Werning says you can access the website via the department’s page at :www.state.ia.us/government/dia/. He says it’ll include the reports beginning in January of this year and new reports will be added as they are completed.