About food inspections
You've probably seen health inspection results posted on the wall of the neighborhood coffee shop or the pizza place around the corner. In this section of EveryBlock, you can see how all food establishments near you fared during recent inspections by the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The vast majority of establishments pass inspection. But, each year, a couple hundred fail, and many others pass only because violations were corrected during inspection.
You can find out what those violations were — from the presence of rodents or vermin to inadequate sewage or wastewater facilities — as part of each inspection result. Also included is each restaurant's location and the date it was inspected, the name of the business and the name it is doing business as, the inspection result ("pass," "pass with conditions" or "fail") and what, if any, violations were found. Detailed descriptions of every data element can be obtained from the Food Inspection Dataset Description.
The city's data portal is updated each Friday, and we at EveryBlock check their database every day.
What do the different inspection results mean?
As noted above, establishments that are inspected can pass, pass with conditions, or fail.
A "pass" is given if the establishment meets minimum city requirements and doesn't have serious or critical violations present during the inspection.
A "pass with conditions" is given if the establishment has serious or critical violations that are corrected during the inspection or the certified food service sanitation manager isn't present during the inspection. (The manager is someone who works for the restaurant and oversees the food-handling process, to make sure food is handled to prevent the occurrence of food-borne illness. The manager's certification must be prominently posted).
A "fail" is given if an establishment has serious violations that can't be fixed during the inspection and remain uncorrected during a reinspection. See more below about serious violations.
A "fail" also occurs when an establishment has critical violations that can't be corrected during inspection. In this situation, the establishment will have its license suspended until it passes a reinspection.
Violations are marked as "serious" if they will likely create imminent health hazards if they aren't corrected within a timeframe provided by the health department. This includes instances when restaurants improperly thaw potentially hazardous food or when toilet rooms are not enclosed or clean.
If serious violations aren't fixed in the designated timeframe, the violations become "critical," and the establishment will receive a citation to close.
A violation is deemed "critical" if it creates an imminent health hazard that can't be corrected before the inspection is over. Examples include evidence of rodent or insect infestation or employees who are not washing their hands.
Generally speaking, inspectors focus on food-handling practices, product temperatures, server hygiene, facility maintenance and pest control. Inspections usually occur every six months.
For more information, see the ordinances under which the department operates: City of Chicago’s Municipal Code, chapters 4-8, 7-38, 7-40, and 7-42 and the Chicago Board of Health Rules and Regulations.
- Source Chicago Department of Public Health
- Updated Daily