Foodies are now able to easily access the inspection results of their favorite restaurants, thanks to a new smartphone app released by Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS).
California Food Inspector allows users to search inspection results for 4,200 food facilities -- from restaurants to coffee shops and ice cream vendors -- in the county over the past five years. The inspection histories show what violations food facilities have been instructed to fix. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.
"The app's release is the latest example of CCHS' commitment to making information readily accessible to the public," said Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood. "Restaurant inspection results, for instance, have been on the department's website for many years. But with the release of this new mobile app, the information will now be available to the public in an even more convenient fashion."
Using GPS, use can also scan restaurants near their current location and compare the health safety records of those venues. The app also features a list of which eateries have been forced to close temporarily in order to correct serious violations that pose an imminent threat to their customers' health; Underwood said she expects the app will give restaurant owners more incentive to practice good food safety techniques so they maintain a clean inspection record.
"Hopefully, eating out in Contra Costa County will be even more safe now because of this app," Underwood said.
Although there are third-party apps offering mobile access to restaurant inspection results, CCHS is the first public health agency in California to develop its own smartphone app. The CCHS Environmental Health Division attempts to inspect all food facilities in the county twice each year. Results from routine inspections are uploaded weekly; closure information is updated every evening.