Customers in Maine will soon be able to look up health inspection records online, allowing them to see if a restaurant they are planning on visiting has a clean inspection record or a history of health code violations.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to roll out a new database that would open restaurant inspection records to the public. Most states already put restaurant inspection records online, and this move is intended to promote transparency and help make restaurant inspections more efficient.
“The public has been asking for that and we want to be able to provide that,” said Nancy Beardsley, director of the division of environmental health at the CDC.
In addition to making restaurant inspection records public, the new database is expected to help inspectors keep track of and follow up with restaurants that have a history of health code violations.
Maine Restaurant Association president and chief executive Greg Dugal said his organization was not “excited” by the prospect, but that restaurateurs understood why people wanted the information and why the state decided to give it to them. Dugal said he hopes the database will make it clear to consumers what violations are relevant to food safety and which are not.
“I wouldn’t say we’re excited about it, but we certainly understand why they’re doing it,” Dugal said. “It’s hard for them to keep up with all of the public’s requests.”