The County’s Department of Environmental Health has created a new mobile website, SDFoodInfo.org, that gives people a quick, easy way to find and get information about thousands of restaurants, food trucks and markets across the county.
The site will not only let people see three years’ worth of health inspection results for restaurants, it will show a map of the restaurants near them, draw street directions to get there on the map, and even let them call the restaurant if they want to check about reservations. Just bookmark SDFoodInfo.org on your smartphone or desktop computer and you’re ready to go.
Environmental Health regularly inspects almost 15,000 food facilities, including nearly 8,000 restaurants, as well as food trucks, supermarkets, convenience stores and most of the places that serve or sell food, to make sure they’re complying with food safety regulations. Residents, tourists, and foodies have been able to see County health inspection results for years to find out if their favorite restaurant has earned an “A” grade card and to get information about the County’s food inspection program on the department’s web pages.
SDFoodInfo.org, however, will give people more information than ever. First, it expands the number of inspection results for restaurants and food facilities, from the three most recent inspections to the last three years’ worth of inspections.
SDFoodInfo.org also lets people search for restaurants in several different ways. They can search for a specific restaurant by its name or address. They can also find groups of restaurants by searching by ZIP codes, by communities, and to a lesser extent, by what type of food they serve — if that type of food is part of the restaurant’s name. For example, people can find restaurants by typing in “taco,” “burger,” “Italian,” or “seafood.”
The new site has already earned a thumbs-up from the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association (CRA), which represents 1,100 member restaurants and sponsors the popular San Diego Restaurant Week.
“One of CRA’s top priorities is to ensure that customers have the utmost confidence when they eat at our restaurants,” Chapter President Chuck Ross said, “and SDFoodInfo.org will help accomplish that goal by providing the dining public with the most up-to-date and accurate information.”
SDFoodInfo.org includes both a map, with pin markers showing the first 30 food facilities nearby, and a text list of restaurants with their addresses and current food grade card — “A,” “B” or “C.” The map and list are side-by-side on a desktop computer; viewers can toggle back and forth between the map and list on a smartphone.
Clicking on a restaurant’s name on the text list, or on the pin-marked names on the map, sends viewers to a more detailed page about the restaurant. It shows the distance to get to the restaurant, a link to view inspection results, and links that allow the viewer to call the restaurant or file a complaint with Environmental Health’s complaint desk.
Environmental Health inspectors grade restaurants and food facilities on how well they comply with food safety regulations, based on a 100-point scale. The scale tests standards ranging from safe food handling, to food temperature control, employee sanitation and hygiene.
Restaurants are expected to score between 90 and 100 points to earn “A” cards that show they are substantially complying with health codes and keeping people safe. A “B” card reflects a score between 80 and 90 points and means the restaurant needs improvement. A “C” card represents a failing grade of 79 points or less.
So go to the County App Center, check out SDFoodInfo.org, and bon appétit!