Residents can now check to see inspection results for their favorite restaurant, carry-out, market or other kind of food service establishment. Food service inspection data has been added to Montgomery County's new dataMontgomery website (https://data.montgomerycountymd.gov).
The inspection data can be sorted in a variety of ways, including by name of the establishment, location, and whether the business is in compliance with food safety requirements, nutritional labeling, the trans fat ban, and the posting of non-smoking signs. Violations are included, along with corrections.
The data includes the results of inspections conducted by the County's Licensure & Regulatory Services Program, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which inspects all licensed retail food establishments in Montgomery County for a variety of reasons (e.g. obtaining an operating license, regular check-ups, or in response to complaints). Two types of inspections are conducted on a routine basis. Comprehensive inspections evaluate the sanitation, maintenance and food service operations of the facility. Monitoring inspections involve checking the food service operation for critical food temperatures, equipment temperatures and general food handling/cleanliness practices.
The frequency of inspections is based on the food-borne illness risks associated with various types of facilities. High priority facilities are those which prepare food products a day or more in advance or use any combination of two or more processes such as cooking, cooling, reheating and holding hot food over four hours. For these facilities, a monitoring inspection is conducted at least twice a year. Moderate priority facilities -- which prepare and cook food products that are served immediately or within four hours -- are inspected at least once a year. Both types of facilities also receive at least one comprehensive inspection every year. Low priority facilities serve prepackaged foods that are not potentially hazardous, and these facilities typically receive one comprehensive inspection every two years.
The dataMontgomery website was launched last month as part of the County's open government efforts. Other data on the website currently includes residential permits, completed 311 requests, cable complaints, County contracts, and employee salaries.
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