Using Public Records to Make a Dinner Reservation

Restaurants' food safety inspection reports, required to be conducted at least once a year in most states, have always been available via a public records request to city or county health departments.  However, they are becoming more readily available and searchable online.  A new website,, has compiled an online database of scores for restaurants in California (San Francisco, San Bernardino and Los Angeles County), King County in Washington, New York City, Tennessee and Florida with the intention to continue expanding their records.  The web site provides restaurant scores along with any reported major, moderate or minor violations, as well as links to previous inspections.