Health department makes restaurant search easier
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The Allegheny County Health Department has upgraded its online database of restaurant inspections to make it easier to search by name, and is considering other enhancements to help the public better understand and navigate the reports.
Within the last two weeks, the search engine was changed to allow people to enter a name that approximates a restaurant's name and still find the report that they were looking for, spokesman Guillermo Cole said.
Previously, unless a user typed in the name exactly the way it appeared on the inspection form -- which did not always match up with the restaurant's actual name -- the search would fail. For example, typing in McDonald's without an apostrophe used to yield zero results.
The department is working on other changes involving how the reports are presented, giving users more information about critical food safety violations and the inspection process. One feature could include the ability to navigate the mouse over certain parts of the report and bring up relevant sections of the county's food safety code.
The health department started posting restaurant inspection reports online in July 2010 and has promised to maintain them going back at least two years.
The reports are available at http://webapps.achd.net/Restaurant/. To view a restaurant's most recent inspection report, type in the name, then click on the date in blue. To see older reports, click on the name in blue. Reports also can be looked up by municipality.
First Published November 9, 2012 12:00 am