I was surfing around looking for information on health department reports on restaurants and stumbled across this PDF which shows the grades of restaurants located in Texarkana-Bowie County in Texarkana, Texas. Intrigued, I did some deep searching of the Minnesota Department of Health’s website and came up empty handed. I ended up contacting the MDH directly and got a response that while the reports are public, they do not have an online database of them and as such I was told to request them through e-mail and they would fill my request.
So, I e-mailed in a list of a handful of locally owned restaurants. I didn’t bother with the chains being that I’d be here all fucking day looking up the information to send to the MDH and the fact that I just generally don’t choose to patronize them anyway. While I really wish this information was available online, I was told that they just don’t have the budget money to do it and it’s a lot more difficult than I understand (oddly enough, I had the time to compile, host, and post this information so I guess that excuse doesn’t work too well anymore, eh?). Personally I feel that if the MDH published these online, as should be the case, it would be in the absolute best interests of the restaurants to comply with the suggested corrections immediately so as not to lose business.
Because of the way the MDH handles these (different inspectors for different regions), I am breaking this topic into three sections. The first will be from Apple Valley and Farmington. The second will be Burnsville, Lakeville, and Eagan. The third will encompass Hastings, Rosemount, and Savage. Each of the posts will include a list of the restaurants I requested information on, including any relevant reviews I have already posted here, and their most recent health inspection report as provided by the individual MDH inspector. All of the reports will be made available in PDF for you to view as well as text converted versions. While I do have more bandwidth than I did in the past, I ask that you not hammer the site with requests to download the PDF versions. If you’re just planning to look over the data please utilize the text versions until you know exactly what restaurants you’re most interested in before you pull down the full PDF versions.
The information provided in the documents below is created, compiled, and disseminated by the Minnesota Department of Health. This information is public record and anyone may obtain it, just as I did, by asking. I have not altered the original content in any way other than to provide text converted copies of the PDF to save me some bandwidth.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE:
The information provided in the documents below shows an on-going history of inspections and you will need to pay careful attention to the dates listed in order to know which are the most recent.
Apple Valley and Farmington Restaurant Inspection Reports:
|Egg Roll King||TXT|
|Grizzly’s Grill N’ Saloon||TXT|
|House of Wing||TXT|
|Kami Japanese Steakhouse||TXT|
|Osaka Japanese Steakhouse||TXT|
|Taste of Thaiyai||TXT|
|The Ugly Mug||TXT|
|Farmington Steak House||TXT|
|Beans and Bakery||TXT|
After receiving these and giving them a quick read through, I let everyone on Twitter know that I can’t eat out ever again knowing what I know now. I’m especially concerned with a restaurant that was visited three times in seven days, making very little noticeable progress and yet remained open while violations continued. When I asked about how enforcement was determined, I was sent a 23 page manual provided by the MDH which went over how an inspector handles that entire process from inspection up to possible hearings, fines, etc. After reading the manual, I got the impression that the MDH is more on the side of restaurants than the people.
Of the 20 establishments listed, only one came out without a single critical issue on their last report (Beans and Bakery in Farmington). Most establishments only had one but Rascal’s, Grizzly’s and World Buffet all had 5 or more on their last inspection with World Buffet having 10 on December 18th and 19th, 2008 and 8 on December 23rd!
Some of my favorite quotes included:
CLEAN WALK IN COOLER SHELVES OF MOLD AND FOOD RESIDUE.
DISCONTINUE USING GARBAGE CAN TO SET RICE COOKER AND TABLE TOP ON.
CLEAN AND SANITIZE ICE MACHINE BIN. MOLD GROWTH FOUND ON PLASTIC.
Personally I’m disappointed in all aspects of the inspections including the difficulty in obtaining the reports, the frequency that issues that are found, and the enforcement process. I look forward to seeing how the other South Metro cities fare when I finally get to read their inspection reports.
What do you think about what’s listed above? Does it make you think twice before you eat out at a restaurant in the future? Perhaps you already knew that problems like those listed in the documents provided existed but it just doesn’t bother you much. What inspection issues did you like the best? Go ahead and comment on and let us know what’s on your mind!