Berkeley's food scene is eclectic, vibrant and ever-changing. But is it safe?
The City of Berkeley's Environmental Health Department can help provide an answer to the question of health and hygiene at Berkeley's eateries. An online database provides the results of the most recent food facilities inspections in Berkeley, indicating whether restaurants had minor violations to keep an eye on, or major problems that warranted closing the doors if not immediately corrected.
Simply type the name or address of your favorite food spot into the search bar and click "search." At the bottom of the page, you'll find the most recent inspection results, with an 'X' marked for any violations.
According to Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, the City of Berkeley's public information officer, major violations have different classifications, some of which require being addressed "right then and there." Once the problem is fixed, the violation is removed from the online database. Any follow-up inspection results may not yet have been updated on the website.
Here are a few examples of restaurants, cafes and bars with major violations last year (note that violations may have since been corrected):
Jayakarta Restaurant got a major violation for "improper holding temperature" in July 2011.
Cafe Durant had contaminated equipment at its inspection the same month.
In August 2011, Mandarin House scored a major violation, also for contaminated equipment.
Expresso Roma on College Avenue was marked as a major violator for "improper holding temperature."
So was King Yen in Elmwood.
For more information on food facility inspection in Berkeley, visit the Food Facility Program website. Want to make a complaint about a local restaurant? Complete an on-line request for service form, phone Environmental Health at (510) 981-5310 and TDD (510) 981-6903, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did your favorite restaurant fare in its last inspection? Any surprises? Let us know in the comments.