Restaurant owners know word-of-mouth can bring in business, but it can also hurt an eating establishment if there are rumors about sanitation problems and cleanliness issues. That's why the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center's regular inspections of restaurants and other places that serve food to the public are so important.
Now diners can check out an establishment online. The health center is posting its inspection results on its Web site: www.cgcohealthdept.com. The same information that inspectors put in their reports is available for everyone to see.
What you will see if you look at the inspection reports is that both restaurants and the health inspectors in this area do a good job of safeguarding those of us who like to eat out. And with the ever-increasing number of restaurants in our area, it's easy to see that more and more of us are choosing to let someone else prepare our meals -- and do the dishes.
Restaurants are routinely inspected at least once a year. They can be cited for critical violations and noncritical violations. When there are violations, a follow-up inspection checks to make sure the problems are being addressed. A spot check of the online reports shows restaurants quickly take care of most problems cited by inspectors.
We applaud this openness regarding information many restaurant customers will find useful and, in large measure, reassuring.