Salem Restaurants Pass Health Inspections
Last month, restaurants around Salem were inspected to determine whether or not it was safe for them to remain open. These inspections take place in order to ensure that restaurants do not violate health codes.
Marion County conducts at least two mandatory restaurant inspections per restaurant, per year. These are chunked into numerous inspection periods, one recent inspection period occurred between Sept. 24 and Oct. 10. As of Oct. 10, no restaurants have been closed in the Salem-Keizer area, and only four restaurants scored a 90 or below.
“People that make the food, are constantly touching other things with their hands,” Lime Berry Employee Melania Umulap ‘20 said. “If we eliminate having health inspections-I think we have [one] every few months, at Lime Berry-I think, a lot of businesses would be putting people in the hospital.”
Restaurants are inspected without warning to ensure restaurant managers and employees are continuously making sure their restaurants stay safe to the public and themselves.
“It’s probably important to [ensure that] restaurants are following health code,” Alexander Kivett ‘20 said.
Restaurants are scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 having no safety violations. The restaurant always starts at 100, and has points deducted upon noticing violations, such as unlabeled food products, insufficient storage, or unsafe temperatures. The Marion County Environmental Health website has violations range in impact to one’s score. “P” or “Priority” violations are a lack of following one or more important rules that prevent foodborne illnesses, such as cross-contamination insufficiency or unclean containment units. “P” violations deduct 5 points each from the final score. “Pf” or “Priority foundation” violations are violations of specific parts of “Priority” rules, such as failure to clean parts of the restaurant, or unresolved insect infestations. These violations take off 3 points. If a violation is noticed more than once, then point deduction for that violation is doubled and labelled as a REPEAT. If a restaurant falls below a score of 70, then it is closed until violations are resolved. “Restaurant inspection are done to identify and ensure correction of violations that lead to a significant risk of causing foodborne illness. There have been no closures recently and in general restaurants in Marion County do a good job on their inspections,” Marion County health specialist Greg DeBlase said. This is a sign that Marion County has a good reputation for general cleanliness, at least in the restaurant department.