Food Inspections

Scores: What Do They Mean?

Inspections involve a report containing 58 potential items of violation, each of which is assigned a point value based on how it can affect a person’s health. The point values range from one to five, with one being least severe and five being most severe.

Most of the items on the inspection are weighted at one or two points and are characterized as “non-critical” violations. Others are considered a higher threat and are characterized as “critical” violations.

An example of a non-critical violation is a hand washing sink in an establishment that is dirty or a refrigerator that doesn’t have a thermometer provided in or on it to monitor the temperature inside.

An example of a critical violation is an employee failing to use a hand sink , whether dirty or not; failure to wash hands between handling raw chicken and cutting up vegetables for use in salad; or potentially hazardous food items stored at a temperature above 41 degrees Fahrenheit inside a refrigerator that is not cooling properly due to a mechanical failure, whether a thermometer is present or not.

To calculate an establishment’s final score, the total of the points for all violations marked is subtracted from a total point value of 100. An establishment is considered to have passed its routine inspection if a score of 85% or above is received with no critical violations noted. An establishment that scores below 85% or receives a critical violation debit fails its inspections.