LEBANON, Ohio -- Warren County residents are now only a click away from finding out how their favorite local restaurant fared during routine county health inspections.
The Warren County Combined Health District launched an electronic health inspection system this month, allowing users to search an online database of health inspection reports from the nearly 800 food establishments in the county.
"People used to have to come into our office and ask for a printed out copy of the inspection report," said Duane Stansbury, health commissioner for Warren County. "Now they will be able to see inspections from multiple years to see if facilities are maintaining good inspections. Are they getting better? Getting worse? They will start to notice trends."
The online system , which launched March 3, contains inspection reports from Jan. 1 and beyond. About 300 facilities have been inspected since the start of 2014, and those reports are now online, Stansbury said.
"The inspection reports [online] are just a snapshot of a day in the facility and may not reflect the overall long-term conditions," said Dennis Murray, environmental health director for the county's combined health district. Murray cautioned users to keep that in mind when utilizing the county's new online tool.
A WCPO analysis of restaurant violations from the city of Cincinnati and six local counties did not include Warren or Butler counties, as neither maintained their 2013 records electronically. Murray said Warren County health inspection reports from earlier than Jan. 1 are still available if requested, although the county cannot deliver them online or in a searchable format.
"It'll be more legible to read. Any health department that uses this system will have the same verbiage. We'll put more detailed information in by our sanitarians, which should give the operator a cleaner, easier document to read after we've done the inspection," he said.
Stansbury said the consistent reports will help to educate restaurants who fail to pass inspections about how to improve.
"It helps them think through why it's a violation. What did we do wrong? And then make sure it doesn't happen again," he said. "There are a number of facilities that have multiple locations within our counties and in joining counties -- chain restaurants -- so if they are seeing the same thing from across our county and from neighboring counties, they will understand what we're looking for."
The new online inspection system also includes inspection reports for campgrounds and swimming pools in the county. Murray said the health department has plans to also add other reports to the site by early next year, like inspection reports for tattoo parlors, body piercing facilities, household sewage treatment systems and private water systems.
Butler County is in the process of converting its restaurant health inspection reports to an online system, too.
Brian Williamson, chief of environmental services at the Butler County Health Department, said he discussed the online conversion with his board last week.
"We're moving in that direction," he said. "What we're asking for is something that's user-friendly for the public to actually find specific restaurants -- a name search."
Williamson said the department has not rolled out a date for their online conversion, but he anticipates the switch should happen within the next few months.
Butler County inspection reports can now be requested via e-mail or in person, although Williamson said there's no easy way for the department to search among all the reports.
The Ohio Auditor of State blamed years of “inaccurate accounting and budgeting” for the April financial emergency in Hamilton Township.
A father of two children who is accused of sexting a 12-year-old girl and sharing her photos with several people is scheduled to appear in a…
The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office found that police acted properly in an April 21 officer-involved shooting death in South Lebanon.
A woman was swept four miles down stream in rising floodwater as her husband and toddler were trapped in their car during Monday…
The Beach Waterpark in Mason hosted a three-day beach volleyball tournament in an effort to attract new fans to the sport, crown a new…
Police say girl shared explicit photos with several people, and someone is offering her for sex on Craigslist.
Warren County recently surpassed a major milestone that it has never reached before.
An off-duty Middletown police officer was in the right place at the right time Wednesday, and his quick reaction saved the life of a biker.
In honor of a Navy vessel bearing its name, a Warren County community has once again welcomed members of the USS Mason’s crew to…
Blanchester residents are debating whether a father should be charged with child endangering after his 8-year-old son skipped church to play.