Our previous post about restaurant inspections had us wondering what information is available from the Lake County Health Department. We contacted them, and here is what we have learned.
Their website is very transparent and provides great details on their ‘Food Protection Program’.
On the left hand side of the page you will see the various Lake County municipalities listed. Click on any municipality and it will populate the page with the individual establishments. Click on the establishment and you will get a report for their individual inspection reports, and you can even get the details of each “critical’ or “non-critical” issue found by the Health Department inspectors.
We were told that the establishments are not required by law to post the results of their inspection reports for the public to read and decide if they should eat there. Seems to us that posting inspection reports should be mandatory, but the Lake County Health Department is working on an “APP” to handle that issue.
We were told that they are in the process of developing a mobile application that would permit the public to download the latest inspection report BEFORE entering the restaurant. It will also have a GPS locator, so that you will not have to even type in the name of the restaurant, since the software will know your location.
So what’s the deal with the mobile vending trucks that we see at all the summer events.
Who is inspecting them for any possible health violations?
All mobile units must be registered with a county health department, but not necessarily the Lake County Health Department. A mobile unit registered in any of the other 87 counties in the State can sell their product in Lake County without the Lake County Health Department knowing about it. If there is no sign posted on the mobile truck giving the public their health department “seal of approval”, how is the public to know if it is safe to eat their food? Unfortunately, the answer is you are assuming a risk.
So when buying anything from the mobile trucks remember “caveat emptor” – the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made – let the buyer beware.