New Yorkers tap online eatery inspections

Residents and visitors of New York City can now access all Department of Health inspection results for restaurants in the city online.

The site for the Department of Health's Restaurant Inspection Recording and Reporting System can be found at under the "What's New" section of the city's main World Wide Web site.

"We were looking for ways to provide information at the community level so people can make informed decisions," said Ed Carubis, assistant commissioner, management information services, Department of Health.

Carubis suggested that visitors, workers or residents log on to check a restaurant before dining. However, he offered some tips: "People should really be worried about food temperature and handling violations over vermin ones," he said, saying a vermin violation isn't necessarily a rat. "That's a far greater health risk than a fly in the kitchen."

He also suggested that users click on the definition of violations so they are absolutely clear. For example, the definition for a "vermin" violation says: "Insect or small animal that is destructive, annoying, or harmful to health. Includes cockroaches, flies, and rats."

Users can search for a particular restaurant or chose one of the city's boroughs and then narrow down to the restaurants in a particular neighborhood.

For each restaurant, the site displays the date of the last inspection, and if any violations were issued. A disclaimer on the site notes that violations are allegations, and can be dismissed.

The site is powered by Information Builder's WebFocus system. Information Builders, based in New York City, provides intelligence and enterprise integration software for Web businesses.

REPORT CARD

"Cities populating World Wide Web" [civic.com,May 3, 2000]

"Honolulu is first in state to provide electronic government" [civic.com,April 10, 2000]

BY Daniel Keegan
May 19, 2000

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