What do AraMark at IU Health Hospital, C-3 Bar, Chef’s Table Catering, The Elm, Fairfax Inn, Feast Market and Cellar, Gables Bagels, Inkwell Café-Woodlawn, Oliver Winery, Raising Canes, Brilliant Coffee, Scenic View Restaurant, Serena’s Food Hut, Toto’s Uncle, Trailhead Pizzeria, Uptown Café, and Wings Xtreme have in common?
For last December’s round of visits, Monroe County health inspectors recorded zero violations for all the restaurants on that list.
Another 14 establishments committed at least one non-critical violation, but no critical violations.
But 28 restaurants inspected by Monroe County in December last year were found to have at least one critical violation.
The availability of an online restaurant inspection report is something new.
In an email to The B Square, Monroe County health administrator Lori Kelley called it “a real live example of responding to resident requests.”
She was not able to act immediately on the requests, Kelley wrote, because she was new to her role. Kelley came on board last summer, replacing longtime county health administrator Penny Caudill.
Ellettsville resident Josh Conway had filed records requests with the county asking for the reports.
In an mid-January email to Monroe County, Conway wrote about his requests: “Simply put, my intent is to have all the health department data be available in a machine-readable format for all citizens and visitors of Monroe County, using either Monroe County’s public data portal, or the City of Bloomington’s Data Portal.”
Conway added, “Your work is of utmost importance for the food-safety of the whole community. Having this data hidden away does nobody any good.”
Responding to an emailed question from The B Square, Kelley wrote that “After finding out specifics to the proper process and investigating how other health departments in the state provide this information, I was able to task my administrative assistant to oversee getting this system up and running in a collaborative effort with the Environmental Services Manager and Senior Foods Specialist.”
For now, the plan is to post monthly reports to the county’s website, while a longer-term solution is investigated, Kelley wrote.
Currently, the inspectors fill out paper forms, because the department does not have the technology infrastructure for electronic data entry in the field. The reports are typed up by Kelley’s administrative assistant, from the paper forms, she wrote.
But she continued, “Ideally, long-term, we will be able to create a method of reporting through either an app based system (similar to a Health Inspector App portal) or via the OpenGov system.”
Color Coded Map
(The color coding scheme goes like this: Green=Zero violations; Yellow=At least 1 non-critical violation but no critical violations; Red=At least 1 critical violation.)