Have you noticed the letter ratings in the windows of places that sell food? The County of Riverside Department of Environmental Health (DOEH) has been making unannounced safety inspections of places that serve food since 1963 and assigning those letter grades.
An “A” grade is the only passing score with 100 points meaning no violations of any health code or safety requirements. A score of 90 points means that they just met minimum safety standards. A “B” grade of 80 points or more means that they did not pass the inspection and do not comply with minimum safety standards. A “C” rating means that the food establishment presents an immediate risk to public health and safety and could be closed if problems are not addressed quickly. Fewer than 70 points typically means that the establishment is shut down until safety concerns are addressed.
As of December 1st, only three restaurants in the Coachella Valley did not have “A” grades: two with “B” ratings and one having a “C” score. To find the violations that caused these downgrades or to see how your favorite restaurant fares, go to restaurantgrading.rivcoeh.org. On a very positive note, many restaurants have perfect 100 scores, the DOEH website is sortable by city, score and/or name and lists restaurant inspection history since 2009.
While all of the other food establishments in the Coachella Valley received a rating of “A”, not all “A’s” are the same. In general, the most common problems that many restaurants struggle with are maintaining clean kitchens, avoiding cross contamination and date labeling foods to control spoilage.
The DOEH requires each food service establishment to have one ServSafe Certified Manager on site. ShareKitchen is the Coachella Valley’s go to ServSafe Certification Location with monthly training courses and exams beginning Thursday, December 13th. Go to www.sharekitchen.org/servsafe to register and for more information.