PHOENIX -- People dining out within Maricopa county have a new way to see how the restaurant they're at scored on its food inspection grade. The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) has introduced a website aimed at mobile users to look up restaurant ratings.
The Restaurant Ratings website allows users to search for restaurants by name and location or to view all inspections completed on any particular date. Users can also download a spreadsheet listing restaurants that are part of MCESD's Cutting Edge program.
The website is intended to make looking up restaurants quicker and easier, according to an MCESD press release. Additionally, the web page also has information about the grading system itself.
The food grading system itself is voluntary, although inspections happen even if a restaurant chooses to not participate in the grading system. Restaurants drop in letter grades for every "priority violation" they have, which is a violation that's directly related to foodborne illnesses, like employees not washing their hands.
Restaurants also drop a letter grade for any violation that will lead to a priority violation, such as a lack of soap. Finally, four sanitation violations that aren't related to forborne illnesses will also result in a drop in letter grade.
Details of inspections can be found on Restaurant Ratings whether or not the restaurant participates in the grading system. The codes for violations and inspector comments are available, as well as if the violation was corrected during the inspection or not.
These comments provide detail beyond a letter grade, so those who read the reports can be informed on the specific infractions a restaurant has that lead to its grade.
More information, and the look-up service itself, can be found at RestaurantRatings.maricopa.gov.