DECATUR, Ala. – COVID-19 completely ended routine food inspections across Alabama between March and August of 2020. Now, they’re in full swing as environmental inspectors do random checks of restaurants in towns, cities, and counties across the state.
WHNT captured a partial food inspection on camera in Decatur.
Alabama Department of Public Health environmental inspections are completely unannounced.
An inspector will walk straight through the front door of a restaurant, introduce themselves, go into the kitchen and start observing conditions and checking the temperature of various items.
Jeremy Bryant, a senior environmentalist with the Morgan County Health Department, says most of their interactions with restaurant staff are positive and help food establishments improve their practices.
“Training and educating to help them come up with a better way to do things if they’re struggling with something or hopefully point out something that they were unaware of,” Bryant said. “We try to help them do the best job they can.”
Such n Such Burgers and Tacos in Decatur always score in the 90s on food inspection reports.
Scoring 100 is difficult.
The restaurant scored 97 during Wednesday’s inspection, one of the points was taken off for a container of sanitizer not being full enough.
“It’s a good grade but it’s not what I wanted,” said Such n Such owner Jason Such. “I always shoot for 100. I mean, if we could get 110, I would love 110.”
Such says not only is the food inspection process imperative, he says it helps make restaurants stronger.
“If we scored a 97, my goal is to get those things ready to go and operating again so I can score 100,” Such said. “I mean, yeah it gets frustrating but here’s the thing, he has a job to do and I have a job to do.”
When it comes to what Such calls California, Midwestern inspired cuisine, he’s not messing around.
They hickory smoke 1,200 pounds of meat weekly, on average.
Such says he’s been cooking since he was five years old.
“When an inspector walks in and says, ‘hey, I’m going to eat here today,’ I know I’m doing my job really good,” Such said.