Nooga.com highlights restaurant inspection scores weekly. (Photo: Karlis Dambrans, Flickr)

Check out this week’s restaurant scores.

Nooga.com highlights any restaurant that scored a 90 percent or less, as well as those that got a perfect score on the initial inspection.

We note critical violations because those are the ones that are more likely to lead to illness.

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There is more explanation/context about the inspections at the end of this article. 

Restaurant: Captain D’s
Address: 2008 Gunbarrel Road
Score: 89
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/13

Restaurant: Portobello’s Italian Restaurant
Address: 4976 Highway 58
Score: 89
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/8

Restaurant: First Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Address: 1505 N. Moore Road
Score: Brought up from 88 to 98
Critical issues: No
Date of inspection: 2/7

Restaurant: Captain D’s
Address: 5001 Oakhill Drive 
Score: 80
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was supervisor lacking knowledge of health procedures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/6

Restaurant: Southside Social
Address: 1818 Chestnut St.
Score: 83
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including supervisor lacking knowledge of health procedures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/9 

Restaurant: Hunan Wok I
Address: 2201 E. 23rd St.
Score: 78
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food not properly separated/protected.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/12

Restaurant: El Meson
Address: 248 Northgate Park
Score: Brought up from 90 to 95
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original inspection
Date of inspection: 2/2

High score highlights
These restaurants got a score of 100 without a follow-up inspection.

  • Taco Bell, 7796 East Brainerd Road
  • Primrose School, 1019 Gunbarrel Road
  • Dave’s Spiced Right BBQ, 12914 Highway 58
  • Little Tokyo Express, 4516 Hixson Pike
  • The Main Squeeze, 7550 East Brainerd Road
  • Childcare Network, 1602 Gunbarrel Road
  • Chattanooga Cigar Club, 1518 Market St.
  • Econo Lodge, 7421 Bonny Oaks Drive
  • The Shiny Penny, 20 Belvoir Ave.
  • Jungle Town, 7531 Shallowford Road
  • Bento Sushi, 615 McCallie Ave.
  • Barnes & Noble, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd.
  • Tree of Knowledge, 1430 Jenkins Road
  • The Sub Swap, 1920 Northpoint Blvd.
  • Lakeside Elementary, 4850 Jersey Pike
  • Urban Stack, 12 W. 13th St.
  • Regal Cinemas, 2000 Hamilton Place Blvd.

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.

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