Dicey Dining: How to earn the perfect health inspection score

GARDENDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — Getting a perfect score on a health inspection gives restaurant owners and employees a wide range of positive emotions.

However, it’s still difficult for many restaurants to earn the elusive perfect score.

At Sneaky Pete’s in Gardendale a perfect score is far from elusive.

Not many restaurants earn a perfect score, since environmental health specialists like Kevin Tolbert put kitchens under a wide-ranging microscope or flashlight.DDstorybutton

“What we generally do is get a flashlight and we’ll make sure, looking inside the ice bin for any accumulation of mold or mildew,” said Tolbert.

There were no signs of mold or mildew at Sneaky Pete’s

Inspectors also focus on temperatures, since they can mean the different between a pleasant dining experience and an expensive trip to the hospital.

“The hold holding temperature in Alabama is 135 degrees or above,” Tolbert said. “So, you don’t want to be between 135 and 141 because that’s considered the danger zone where bacteria multiplies and gives people food-borne illness and have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea. Things like that.”

From hand washing to the storage area, to the bathrooms to even the dumpsters, attention to detail helps restaurants keep customers and earn the coveted 100 from Jefferson County’s health department.

To rule the day, the best thing to have on your menu is inspection perfection.

For a list of scores from around Central Alabama, click here.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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