New Restaurant Inspection System for Sacramento

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sacramento will soon be the first city in California to enforce a new health and safety rating system for. Basically, the program will be revamped so that restaurants will be inspected more frequently, and will have much more rigorous standards to meet. Bathrooms will have to sparkle, the kitchens must be brilliant, food storage and equipment must be fully functional, and safety conditions must be met.

Restaurants will then be issued a Green, Yellow, or Red placard which has to be visible from the outside of the restaurant. Green of course is a pass. A Yellow means that certain conditions must be met before as violations were observed and must be corrected before the next inspection, but the place in question can still remain open. Red means the place is closed until everything meets requirements.

The Green, Yellow or Red placards will be issued to food facilities during their inspection beginning January 1, 2007. It will take a long time to check EVERY restaurant in the designated areas, but they expect to be done in July. I think that's bull, but okay. Who wants to be it will take over a year?

The placard posting requirements will apply to all Sacramento County retail food facilities, including the cities of Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Isleton and Galt, as well as in unincorporated areas of the County. Yolo, Stockton, and Modesto sorry 'bout it, but you're still on the old system of being checked only every few years or much more slack standards.

Now all this sounds like a great idea. However, some of the requirements are difficult to meet requiring sorts of equipment regulations that even the most prestigous of restaurants. Low budget eateries, and mom-n-pop places may not be able to afford what is required. Restaurants that also meet a Red or Yellow requirement, then meet requirements to meet a higher degree will be stated so. Meaning, if you were once a Red, but are now a Green, your placard will say the dates you were a Red. A lot of restaurants feel this isn't quite fair, as if they currently have no violations then that's all that matters.

Is this all good and bad? Yes and no. The city will be offering classes on "How to Get a Green." It's like those S.A.T. prep classes back in high school. I'm going to guess that they will only be taught in English, which I can see being a problem for many restaurants run by people with limited English skills, or immigrant run restaurants.

For more info or to see the placards, go here.


  1. Great Topic G!

    I think it could cause lots o problems for restaurants.

    Nobody will know why a place get's a certain color. It's kinda like when the country is on Orange Alert from homeland security--because of one incident thousands of miles away!

    One wet towel left to sit out could mean "a bad placard"..the same as finding a cig butt in a salad. Would both places get the same color?

    I see potentially big problems in river city.

  2. Personally I like the idea. We have something similar here in Auckland, New Zealand. Rating goes from A to E with E being closed. The card needs to be displayed and the ratings are published for those getting E. If you see a less than A card it makes you wonder why and only encourages the establishment to do better.


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