Why we won't be publishing passing restaurant health re-inspections

restaurant report card ~ what now, atlanta?

The first inspection is random.

The second is planned and prepared for.

The Porter Beer Bar in Little Five Points failed their restaurant health inspection earlier this year, launching our "Failed Restaurant Health Inspections" column.

What Now Atlanta readers felt that, because the beer bar passed their re-inspection with a 99 a week later, an update should be posted.

We disagreed.

But in all fairness, we thought we'd entertain the idea, or at least learn the process for restaurant health inspections.

Since we're not experts, we spoke to one.

Public Information Officer, April Majors, was our contact for the Fulton County Environmental Health Services Department (a division of the Health Department).

What Now Atlanta learned that the first inspection is a true inspection because it's random and the second is not because it's planned for, according to Majors.

Therefore, it is our contention that failing the first time is newsworthy and passing the re-inspection is not.

Passing the second time is like failing a real estate licensing exam the first time, and then on the second attempt, the instructor lets you use the answer key (and it's not even a pop quiz-- it's scheduled).

"Restaurants that fail their first inspection are given a specific date on when the Environmental Health Services Department will re-inspect them," said Majors. "For those restaurants that want to remain open, they usually pass the second time."

What is considered a failing score changes from one health inspector to the next, but Majors said the industry standard is that "anything below a 70 is failing."

Failing once or twice won't shut the restaurant down but the county does require those restaurants to take mandatory classes to clean up their act, Majors added.