News Headlines

Champaign County to Discuss Publicizing Restaurant Inspections


A Champaign County Board member says he will push for a new rule requiring restaurants in the county to post their health inspection scores.

Republican Stan James is the county board's representative on the Champaign County Board of Health. James said he wants restaurants to post inspection results where customers can easily see them.

The move comes after C-U CitizenAccess reported that the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District's push to post restaurant inspection reports online had been delayed for years. The Public Health District provides health services for both Champaign-Urbana and the rest of the county --- the latter by contract with the Board of Health.

James said his priority is to get the results of restaurant inspections posted at each restaurant. He said he saw that practice in California, while working in restaurants as a teenager.

"They had codes that people could walk up to a restaurant," James said. "Because like me, if I was from out of town, and I walk into a restaurant and I'm just maybe appalled at something, who do I call? And plus, I would be forewarned by that rating, know that, I'm entering here, and it's been certified, tested and it's safe to go in."

James said if the County Board of Health takes action on his proposal, it would need the Champaign County Board's approval --- and then, it might only be done in restaurants in the outlying county --- since the Public Health District has its own governing board in Champaign-Urbana.

C-U Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde said her staff would carry out the rule on the Board of Health's behalf. But she said she prefers the posting of full inspection reports, instead of a score or letter grade.

The Champaign County Board of Health meets Tuesday night at 6 PM, at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District offices in Champaign.