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Inspection scores for restaurants, lodging, and campground facilities available on new state website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
CONTACT:  Clark Hepper, (605) 773-4945 


Inspection scores for restaurants, lodging, and campground facilities
 available on new state website


PIERRE, S.D. – Consumers can find health inspection scores for nearly 6,000 food service, lodging and campground establishments on a new state website. The site is one component of a larger effort to computerize and streamline the entire inspection and licensing system.


“We needed an electronic system that would let inspectors enter real-time inspection reports, vendors submit license applications and fees, and the public to more easily access health scores so creating it was no easy task,” said Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of the Department of Health. “This will be a vast improvement over the antiquated paper-based system we’ve been using and should streamline the process for vendors and inspectors alike.”


The department licenses food service, lodging, and campground establishments to assure health and safety standards are met and the public health protected. Routine, regular inspections monitor food handling practices, sanitation, fire safety and environmental issues.


One of the first components of the new electronic system to be operational is the health score website. At the same time, inspectors are being trained to use the electronic inspection report component. The online license application, renewal and payment portion of the system is expected to be operational this fall.


Inspection reports are public records under state statute and are already available from the department upon request, but putting that information online makes it even more accessible. Increased accessibility and transparency of public records is an emphasis of Governor Daugaard’s Better Government Initiative.


At the website, consumers can search by name, location, or facility type to find the four latest inspection scores for each licensed establishment as well as information about whether violations were critical or non-critical. In 2013, the site will be expanded to include full inspection reports along with the scores.  


“We would encourage consumers to remember that a single inspection is just a snapshot of an establishment’s operation on a particular day,” said Hollingsworth. “For a more complete picture of an establishment’s operation, it’s important to look at scores over time and also to consider whether violations were critical or non-critical.”


To access the site, click the health scores link at doh.sd.gov.