Do you know that your favorite restaurant is inspected at least annually? Do you know how easy it is to find out about the inspection results? If you have access to the Internet, you can do it and it’s quite interesting.

A part of protecting the public’s health is by providing for food establishment inspections. As a consumer, you are entitled to know that various establishments are thoroughly inspected. You also have the right to know the results of such inspections. Inspections are not done to punish the owner, cooks, or wait staff but to offer suggestions for improvement. The inspection reports provide proof to the consumers that their health and safety is being monitored.

The Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals holds several contracts with agencies to conduct food inspections. Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health does the inspections for Winneshiek County. Cerro Gordo County posted restaurant inspection reports on their website but, it was often difficult to navigate and understand the reports.

Earlier this year, the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals became the designated department to post this information. Their website is user friendly and the reports are much easier to read and understand. It also gives you an idea just how thorough an inspection is. Their website can be accessed by logging into:
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From that homepage you can click on “How to Read an Inspection Report” found on the left side of the screen. This is beneficial to view first so the report will be more meaningful. Then you can click on “Find an Inspection Report,” also on the left side of the screen. You will need to select the license type you are interested in learning more about. For restaurants, click food service establishments. Then you may enter the restaurant name and either the city or county. The reports are not limited to Winneshiek County. You may access the information for any of the counties. Once the restaurant name is shown, you can click on it to learn when it was last inspected and then click again to read the report.

It really is that simple. How do you think your kitchen at home would fare in an inspection? Knowing that eating establishments have certain standards
to follow, does it make you want to eat out more often? It is
reassuring to know that food establishments have high
expectations put on them.