Restaurant ratings: ‘It is very fustrating’

Restaurant ratings: ‘It is very fustrating’

Amber Woods, the owner of the recently opened Downtown Diner in Kennewick, was taken aback when she saw the health inspection report in the newspaper Wednesday.

The report showed that the diner received 25 red points for “high risk.”

“It is very fustrating for me as a business owner,” Woods said. “I do believe that the health department is essential in ensuring that business owners are following with guidelines and regulations so that nobody gets sick, and then for them to inform the community.”

However, according to Woods, this recent inspection came right after a busy day when clean up was underway.

“Our 25 points personally were earned for a pot of mac and cheese that we were throwing away, because it was the end of the rush. Because it wasn’t temperature we earned those 25 points,” Woods said.

Woods added the health district didn’t quantify what those points meant.

“The red category are what we consider the high risk, the ones that have more potential or higher probability of a food borne illness,” Jessica Davis with the Benton-Franklin Health District said. “And the blue ones are more of the lower risk, but they have the potential to turn into a red, which could create that food borne illness.”

The Downtown Diner received the highest number of points possible for a violation, but for infractions customers would likely never notice.

“What those numbers mean for is for improper hand washing. Five is bare on-hand contact, 16 is improper cooling, 17 is improper pot holding, and 19 could be either room temperature storage or improper practices of time as a control. All of these have a score of 25,” Davis said.

However, according to Davis, this report is not necessarily bad for a new business, but rather incentive to improve health practices for the next inspection.