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Newton County Health Department inspections are now online - KOAM TV 7

Newton County Health Department inspections are now online

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The Newton County Health Department now puts results of its inspections online.

You'll find inspections of restaurants, daycare's, tattoo parlors,  hotels and motels on http://www.newtoncountyhealth.org/.

Inspections are public record and officials want to make it easier for the public to see them.

It is not a pass-fail situation, but compliance with state regulations.

Inspectors look at things like how a cook avoids bare hand contact with ready to eat food, frequent changing of gloves prevents cross contamination.

Restaurants are listed by city and then name, alphabetically.

All handwritten inspections for a year are posted.

Click on the year and see inspectors comments and recommendations.

Establishments are ranked by risk - low, medium or high - based on food preparation and handling.  That determines the frequency of inspections.

"Sometimes, high risk folks are because they haven't done so well on inspections in the past, we've had some ongoing issues that reoccur frequently, might put them in that higher category and inspect them more often," says Bob Kulp, the Director of the Newton County Health Department.

Most restaurants qualify as medium risk and get inspected twice a year.

Inspectors list critical and non-critical violations.

If critical violations or failures are found and can't be fixed immediately, a follow up inspection is scheduled.

In Newton County, habitual offenders are reported to the state health department which has the power to shut them down.

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