Restaurant Alert: Smart phone health inspection database

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – If you've got a smart phone, you can now do your own Restaurant Alert for every eatery in DC, Virginia, and Montgomery County.

Text FOOD to 25543 for a mobile phone link to the WUSA9 Restaurant Alert database which allows you to search individual restaurants, or restaurants near where you are located and retrieve inspection results.

Click here to access the same Restaurant Alert database on a desktop computer:

We routinely report on restaurants that have dozens of violations including rats, no hot water, no hand washing, food at unsafe temperatures and operating without anyone holding a required food safety training certification.

The database includes those bad and the uglies, alongside the good.

When we demonstrated the mobile version to patrons downtown and in Georgetown we found a couple of spots with good health inspections.

Customers at Pret A Manger were relieved when they pulled up the L St. NW location's history to find inspections with, at most, two violations and as few as zero violations.

An inspection history that clean is remarkably good compared to other inspections we've reviewed, but a mother-daughter pair in Georgetown found a similarly good report for the cupcake shop they'd just visited.

The Restaurant Alert database indicates Sprinkles on M St hasn't had more than one violation in an inspection since 2012.

The two got a nasty surprise when they looked up a nearby restaurant which had been closed twice by inspectors with rodent violations.

They don't plan to return there.

Prince George's County is working on providing data that can be analyzed digitally, but hasn't completed the transformation, so it is not included in the database.


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