Nooga.com highlights restaurant inspection scores weekly. (Photo: Damian Siwiaszczyk, Flickr)

A downtown favorite ended up on the lower end of the scores this week. 

Nooga.com highlights any restaurant that scored a 90 percent or less, and there is explanation/context about the inspections at the end of this article. 

Restaurant: Little Caesars 
Address: 10161 Dayton Pike 
Score: 90 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was hands not properly cleaned and washed. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 2/7 

High score highlight 

Name: Juice Bar 

Address: 7407 Igou Gap Road

Score: 100 

Restaurant: Southside Social 
Address: 1818 Chestnut St. 
Score: 90 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods or lack of another approved procedure. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 2/10 

Restaurant: Subway 
Address: 920 Signal Mountain Road 
Score: 89 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 2/8 

Restaurant: Taco Bell 
Address: 6200 Ringgold Road 
Score: 89 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical issue, which was food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes. 
Date of inspection: 2/14 

Restaurant: Wally's 
Address: 1600 McCallie Ave. 
Score: Brought up from 87 to 97
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including lack of proper date marking and disposition. 
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: Done on same day as original inspection 

Restaurant: Chili's 
Address: 408 Market St. 
Score: 87
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of good hygienic practices. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 2/13 

Restaurant: Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy
Address: 926 W. 37th St. 
Score: Brought up from 87 to 97
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures. 
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original inspection 
Date of inspection: 2/13

Restaurant: Sofa King Juicy Burger 
Address: 1743 Dayton Blvd. 
Score: 85 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 2/8 

Restaurant: Memo Grill
Address: 430 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Score: Brought up from 86 to 96
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: Done on 2/9
Date of inspection: No 

Restaurant: Great American Cookie Co. 
Address: 313 Northgate Mall Drive 
Score: 81 
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/8 

Restaurant: Willy's Latin Food 
Address: 5600 Brainerd Road 
Score: Brought up from 78 to 95
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 2/9

Restaurant: Porker's BBQ 
Address: 1251 Market St. 
Score: 77 
Critical issues: Yes. Six critical violations, including toxic substances not properly identified/stored/used. 
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/9 

Restaurant: Merv's 
Address: 713 Mountain Creek Road 
Score: Brought up from 76 to 96
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical issues, including food not properly separated/protected. 
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original inspection 
Date of inspection: 2/8 


About the inspections 
About six people with the health department are responsible for inspecting everything from pools and schools to restaurants and special events, such as Riverbend.

Although the number fluctuates as businesses open and close, officials estimated there are about 1,700 restaurants in Hamilton County. Each one has two unannounced inspections a year.

The reports are divided into two sections—critical and noncritical. 

Violations in the critical categories likely demand a follow-up, unless operators can correct the situation right then. For violations that can't be resolved quickly, restaurants have 10 days to correct them. 

A follow-up report isn't totally representative of how a restaurant did, because they could have gotten a 70 the first time and then 10 days later corrected the problems and raised the score to a 90.

Members of the public often wonder why restaurants with low scores aren't immediately shut down, but inspectors can only do that if there is an "imminent health hazard," such as sewage backup. 

Another misconception is about "failing" grades. A score of 55 is bad, but the restaurant gets 10 days to bring it up. If the restaurant doesn't bring the score up, officials can initiate a closure process, although that is rare.