HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – COVID-19 disrupted plans for almost everyone over the last year. It canceled routine restaurant and bar inspections between March and September across Madison County.
Random restaurant inspections are in full swing again.
Food inspections are an essential part of food safety.
“Health inspections are vital because some types of food born illnesses can be deadly,” said Cheryl Edge, Madison County’s Health Department’s public health supervisor.
Edge regularly gets phone calls from inspectors while they’re making random checks to make sure safe food practices are happening in the kitchen.
There are a lot of measures built into the inspection process that give managers and owners a chance to fix minor violation.
There are some major violations that can cause immediate suspension of a permit to operate.
“It would be if they’re operating without water, operating without hot water, they have extended interruption in electricity, extended interruption in proper refrigeration, a sewage backup into the food establishment,” Edge said.
Another major violations that can cause a permit to be immediately suspended is an insecure grease trap.
“Several years ago, Sadie Grace Andrews drowned in a grease trap in south Alabama,” Edge said. “We now have a Sadie Grace Andrews act. If a grease trap lid is found unsecured we suspend the permit to operate and have a fine until that’s corrected.”
When restaurants, bars and other food establishments are inspected, it’s on a point system.
A 95 might not necessarily be a great score because it might mean a five point violation happened.
Bumpers Billiards got a 98 and was among the top scorers on the most recent health inspection reports sent to WHNT.
WHNT will be resuming restaurant ratings stories weekly.
We will investigate concerns and highlight restaurants doing exceptionally well.