Restaurants to display inspection results via grade letter

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. - When Kelly Veatch takes her kids out to eat she is looking for variety and cleanliness.

"There's restaurants in town we don't like to go to because they're not clean," she admitted of where she takes her two daughters.

On Friday, the trio enjoyed lunch at Pizza Inn. That restaurant scored a 98 on their last inspection. Even still, that report hangs in the back.

Health Inspector Joel Barrett with the Purchase District Health Department says that will change in a matter of weeks.

"The score is going to be posted at the entrance so they're going to know the score before they go in," he said of customers eating  in establishments in McCracken, Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, and Hickman Counties.

That score will be a letter grade, A, B, or C. An 'A' is a score of 85 or above and means the restaurant received no critical violations. A 'B' means the restaurant failed 2 regular inspections or failed a follow up inspection. 'C' means the inspector gave out a score of 84 of below, a restaurant that failed to meet even minimum food regulations. That 'C' will be displayed for 10 days before a follow up inspection is conducted.

Barrett believes the system is not only good for customers but business owners, "After a year I think everybody will be trying a lot harder."

Larry Rust, the owner of Pizza Inn says that 'A' he hopes to get is the best advertisement around, "If people see that and you you have a good score they're going to be comfortable eating in your restaurant."

That's customers like Kelly Veatch. The mom and teacher knows, "A is a very good thing."

The Purchase District Health Department will convert to the new system August 1. The system was based on one implemented in nearby Owensboro, Kentucky. The Green River District Health Department tells Local 6 the program began last October and currently, 91 percent of establishments now carry an 'A' grade.

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