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Restaurant inspection reports go online

Diners in Evanston eateries can now be better informed consumers. The city has started offering results of restaurant inspections on the city web site.

Diners in Evanston eateries can now be better informed consumers. The city has started offering results of restaurant inspections on the city web site.

Carl Caneva, supervisor of Environmental Health, says posting the inspections on the web site makes records that are already public more accessible to residents.

“The idea is to make our inspections and services more transparent, so that residents have a very good idea of the quality of services they receive,” Caneva said.

Caneva added that within the past few months, the Evanston Health Department has seen increased interest in its inspection program, the scores that the food facilities earn, and the quality of food facilities in Evanston from both residents and local media.

“By posting the scores, we hope to increase awareness of food safety and of the Health and Human Services Department’s daily operations,” Caneva said.

“It is our intention that this is a tool of education for the public and not a tool of enforcement or punishment for the managers and owners of food facilities,” he added.

Over a year of records will be available on the web site at all times.

Inspections of food facilities by the City of Evanston are unannounced. Afterwards, the violations are reviewed with the owners or managers to establish a time period for correction.

A perfect inspection score equals 100 percent, and each violation deducts points from this score.

Evanston food establishments are categorized based on their menus and the amount of food handling that is performed. Category 1 establishments are full service restaurants that cook, cool, and reheat foods; they are inspected three times a year.

Category 2 establishments are places that make the food to order with no food that is held over, like leftovers. Category 2 establishments are inspected twice a year.

Category 3 establishments, like gas stations, have prepackaged non-hazardous foods and may sell milk. They are inspected once year.

The State of Illinois Food Code requires all Category I and II facilities that handle food to have one or more certified managers to supervise food service operations.

The Department offers educational opportunities for food service sanitation managers throughout the year. The next sessions are coming up in April.

For further information on Health inspections, call the Health Department at 847-866-2947 or 847-866-2952, or email safefood@cityofevanston.org.

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