See how local eateries stacked up in this week’s restaurant inspections. (Photo: Olga Pavlovsky, 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: Southside Saloon and Bistro
Address: 1304 Chestnut St.
Score: 90 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 2/28

Restaurant: Mi Casa
Address: 3029 Rossville Blvd.
Score: Brought up from 90 to 95.
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation—food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original
Date of inspection: 2/28

Restaurant: Chopstix
Address: 6903 Lee Highway
Score: Brought up from 87 to 97
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 3/2

Restaurant: Best of China
Address: 4340 Ringgold Road
Score: 89
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 3/1

Restaurant: Soddy-Daisy High School
Address: 618 Sequoyah Access Road
Score: Brought up from 88 to 98. 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original
Date of inspection: 3/5

Restaurant: Logan’s Roadhouse 
Address: 3592 Cummings Highway
Score: 86
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 3/6

Restaurant: McDonald’s
Address: 2003 Dayton Blvd.
Score: 85 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation—hands not clean/properly washed.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 3/6

Restaurant: Jenkins Buffet
Address: 4122 Ringgold Road
Score: 85
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation—lack of proper date marking and disposition.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/5

Restaurant: El Monterey Mexican
Address: 531 Signal Mountain Road
Score: 85
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including lack of proper date marking and disposition.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/6

Restaurant: Montlake Golf
Address: 9104 Browlake Road
Score: Brought up from 84 to 99
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 3/2

Restaurant: Hungry House
Address: 4427 Highway 58
Score: Brought up from 79 to 96
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including lack of proper hot holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original
Date of inspection: 3/5

Restaurant: China Cafeteria
Address: 511 Market St.
Score: 79 
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/1

High score highlights

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

  • STEM School, 4501 Amincola Highway
  • East Brainerd Elementary, 7660 Goodwin Road
  • Tweety’s Child Care, 22 N. Larchmont Ave.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 4820 Hixson Pike
  • Bojangles’, 9375 Dayton Pike
  • Domino’s, 9323 Apison Pike
  • TVA Lookout Place, 1101 Market St.
  • Battle Academy, 1601 Market St.
  • Rainbow Day, 804 Tunnel Blvd.
  • Lois’s Lounge & Restaurant, 3013 Dodson Ave.
  • Dragon Breath, 2100 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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