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LA County Public Health collaborates with Decade Software and Yelp to offer restaurant inspection scores online
Dec 19, 2013 (01:12 PM EST)
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles diners who use Yelp will now begin to see inspection scores for their favorite LA restaurants on the review site. Through a collaborative effort between Yelp and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Health Department continues to drive their latest technology advancements.
On July 1, 2013, the Los Angeles Public Health Department's Environmental Health Division went live with a multi-department environmental health software system powered by Decade Software Company's EnvisionConnect Software Suite to automate inspections, permitting, and improve data management. Although restaurant inspection scores have been available on the Public Health website since the inception of the grading program in the 1990s, consumers will now be able to see LA County inspection data alongside photos and reviews on Yelp.
"Los Angeles County is home to a vast and exciting culinary culture, and this collaboration will provide residents and visitors to LA County with better information about the restaurants they want to explore," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "Our research has shown that the posting of restaurant letter grade cards was associated with a reduction in food-borne illness hospitalizations in LA County. Publishing inspection scores online in conjunction with consumer-written reviews of restaurants is the logical next step in providing the public with immediate and easily accessed information to help make informed restaurant choices."
Yelp visitors will be able to see the restaurant's latest inspection score (out of 100 points) and any violations and/or corrections. Grades below a C (69 out of 100 points or below) will appear as a numerical score. The A, B, and/or C letter grades are already familiar to LA County restaurant patrons and seen on food facility windows and doors throughout the county. Restaurant inspection data on Yelp is currently available for any inspections completed after July 1, 2013. Information for inspections completed prior to July 1 may be found on Public Health's website, under the EH link. Mobile food facility (food trucks, hot dog carts, etc.) inspection information is not available online at this time, but will be added in the future.
"We're thrilled to be working with Dr. Fielding's team and Decade Software to make this valuable information more accessible to the millions of people in Los Angeles County that turn to Yelp every month," said Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and co-founder of Yelp. "This was a joint effort as part of Yelp's Local Inspector Value Entry Specification (LIVES) open data standard, which enables local municipalities to accurately upload restaurant health inspection scores for display on Yelp business pages."
"This effort was facilitated, in part, by our partnership with our data management specialists, Decade Software Company. As more inspection information becomes available, we will continue to post scores on Yelp," said Angelo Bellomo, Director, Environmental Health Division. "We at Public Health see this collaboration as a fulfillment of our goal to provide excellent customer service, and a great opportunity to provide residents with easier access to valuable health information. We could not have done this without our partners and we look forward to working on more ground-breaking projects together."
For more information on food safety and restaurant grading, including restaurant inspection information prior to July 1, 2013 and dating back up to two years, visit the Public Health website at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work they do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow them on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.
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