Check out how area restaurants scored this week. (Photo: Pixaby, MGNOnline)

Check out this week’s scores.

The low score was a 62.

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.

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

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

Restaurant: Firehouse Subs
Address: 6408 Ringgold Road
Score: 90
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including hand-washing sinks not properly accessible.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/9

Restaurant: Lively’s Bar & Grill
Address: 4321 Ringgold Road
Score: 89
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 3/9

Restaurant: Amigo’s 
Address: 3805 Ringgold Road
Score: 89
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation—food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/13

Restaurant: New China
Address: 1900 S. Broad St.
Score: 89
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 3/7

Restaurant: Arby’s
Address: 8514 Hixson Pike
Score: 88
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/12

Restaurant: Spare Time Entertainment
Address: 5518 Brainerd Road
Score: 87
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized. 
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/8

Restaurant: Bojangles
Address: 4152 Ringgold Road
Score: 86
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of good hygienic practices.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 3/3

Restaurant: Tony’s Pasta
Address: 212 High St.
Score: 86
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of good hygienic practices.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/8

Restaurant: Sitar Indian Restaurant
Address: 200 Market St.
Score: 82
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 3/9

Restaurant: Southern Star
Address: 1300 Broad St.
Score: 75
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including toxic substances not properly identified/stored/used.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 3/7

Restaurant: Shoney’s
Address: 2318 Shallowford Village Drive
Score: Brought up from 62 to 88.
Critical issues: Yes. Seven critical violations, including lack of proper hot and cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Done on 3/10
Date of inspection: 3/9

High score highlights

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

  • Allen Elementary School, 9811 Dallas Hollow Road
  • Dos Bros, 5975 Elementary Way
  • Dalewood Middle School, 1300 Shallowford Road
  • Wendy’s, 5596 Hixson Pike
  • America’s Best Value, 7638 Lee Highway
  • Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence, 5600 Brainerd Road
  • Cindy’s Custom Cakes, 4030 Highway 58

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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