The city of Minneapolis announced Thursday that it has created an online database for the public to view food inspection reports. The city said the platform is part of an effort to increase transparency.
The records tool sorts information by business name or address, location, inspection date, and business category. Users can search for specific businesses or collect bulk health inspection data from the last three years, according to a news release from the city of Minneapolis.
The Star Tribune reported that Minneapolis is the first city in Minnesota to make such records available online.
Inspections in Minneapolis examine how food is received, stored, prepared, and cooked. This includes ensuring adequate cooking temperatures. Inspectors also verify that there’s no cross-contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods.
Food inspection scores begin at 100, with each violation resulting in a deduction of points. Violations range from broken equipment or dirty floors to improper handwashing techniques or improper cooking and cooling temperatures.
Ben Wogsland, director of government relations for the industry association Hospitality Minnesota, says his biggest concern with the new online records database is whether consumers will be able to easily and accurately interpret the data.
“We encouraged the city to develop a plan on how to answer questions and make sure the public understands what a score is,” says Wogsland. “We live in a time when people are very hungry for data and transparency and quick access to information. Transparency is good, so we support that.”