It seems that online, publicly available safety inspection data is a hot topic on our blog lately. I originally wrote on the topic related to amusement park safety data, and then Somen had a great post yesterday on infrastructure and bridge inspections in Montreal. This is such a hot topic, we have even coined a term for this: “safety transparency”. Well, I don’t like to be one to beat a topic to death but I could not resist writing about Louisiana’s forward thinking with regards to food safety and restaurant inspections.
The website that is managed by the Department of Health and Hospital launched this week (www.eatsafe.la.gov) and it provides inspection information on everything from hospitals to grocery stores and restaurants. Basically, if they serve food in Louisiana, there will be information on this website. I tried out the site very quickly and found it to be intuitive and extremely simple to use. You basically type in the name of the restaurant and are instantly able to view inspection results. Field ID team members have a long standing tradition of eating crawfish and BBQ when we visit Louisiana. Since I don’t know any restaurants by name, I simply typed in “BBQ” and sure enough I received some results. Amazing.
The website boasts some impressive stats:
“There are nearly 34,000 food establishments that have permits in the state of Louisiana. Of the food establishments that have permits in Louisiana, there are:
– 16,747 Restaurants
– 7,140 Markets
– 4,854 Lounges/bars
– 1,077 Meat markets
– 518 Seafood Markets
– 2,351 Daycare and Residential Food Preparation
– 690 Bakeries
– 400 Mobile Food Vendors
– 220 Seasonal/Temporary Permits”
I can guarantee that with restaurants knowing this information is available online their food safety practices will improve. I will certainly be using this site the next time I am headed out for a crawfish boil or plate of brisket in one of my favorite places to eat, Louisiana.