Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Don Dare Reports

Don Dare
Each week, 6 On Your Side reporter Don Dare checks the latest restaurant inspections by the Knox County Health Department. Find out which restaurants flunked and which are the cleanest every Thursday on 6 News at 6:00.

If you would like to contact Don, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are restaurants graded?
Restaurants are scored on a 0 to 100 scale. A score of 70 or above is passing. Below 70 is failing.

How often are restaurants inspected?
Restaurants are given an unannounced inspection every six months.

What happens if the inspector finds serious problems?
If critical violations are found (food spoilage, potentially hazardous food temperatures, a presence of toxic items, insects or rodents, or sewage and waste water) the restaurant is given 10 days to correct them. After 10 days, an inspector will return, again unannounced, and check only the critical violations. If they're corrected, the restaurant receives an "adjusted" score. That new adjusted score can be posted at the restaurant, but the initial grade is included in the official record.

What happens if critical violations aren't corrected by the next inspection?
The restaurant is given 48 hours to correct the problems. Then an inspector returns to see if the violations are fixed. If they are, again an adjusted grade is given. If they're not, the inspector and a supervisor from the county health department return to the restaurant with a "closure" letter. The violations must be corrected on the spot. If they're not, the restaurant can be temporarily closed until the corrections are made. The closure letter becomes part of the restaurant's permanent file.

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