Group seeks to add kitchen cleanliness to the menu - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Group seeks to add kitchen cleanliness to the menu

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Customers visit the Italian Gourmet Deli and Bakery in Newington. Customers visit the Italian Gourmet Deli and Bakery in Newington.
NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

A Connecticut health department is providing diners with easy access to information about how clean their favorite restaurants are.

The Central Connecticut Health District told Eyewitness News it's working on getting its restaurant inspection ratings online.

The district, which serves Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Berlin and Newington, checks out roughly 500 food service establishments a year and conducts more than 1,600 inspections.

The owner of the Italian Gourmet Deli and Bakery in Newington, Mike Lessard, told Eyewitness News that he thinks the online rating system is "a good idea" and he is not alone.

"I don't mind actually," said Sophia Beytan, who is the owner of Sophia's Breakfast and Lunch.

Both restaurant owners said inspectors drop in three times a year.

"They look for temperature, cleanliness, if we're doing the right thing, using gloves," Lessard said.

While every place that serves food is required by the state to get inspected, it's actually up to the local health district to decide how it will grade out.

Some stick with a number on a scale to 100. Others such as Hartford assign a letter grade and others use a different rating system altogether.

The Farmington Valley Health District uses three categories: good, fair, or poor, and the results searchable are online by restaurant or town.

The Central Connecticut Health District is using that same model and expect to have the online ratings up soon.

"Customers and consumers need to know what's going on behind the scenes," Lessard said. "Its gives them a good chance to hold businesses accountable."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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