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

Check out this week’s 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: Plant Power Café
Address: 6215 Lee Highway
Score: Brought up from 90 to 100.
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 4/16

Restaurant: Brainerd Baptist School
Address: 300 Brookfield Ave.
Score: 89
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 4/17

Restaurant: Sticky Fingers
Address: 420 Broad St.
Score: Brought up from an 89 to 94.
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: 4/16

Restaurant: Hardee’s
Address: 9348 Reco Drive
Score: Brought up from 88 to 98.
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 4/11

Restaurant: The Local Juicery + Kitchen
Address: 43 E. Main St.
Score: 82
Critical issues: Yes. Seven critical violations, including lack of proper date marking and disposition.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 4/16

Restaurant: Buffalo Shack
Address: 1512 Tunnel Blvd.
Score: 81
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 4/11

Restaurant: Las Margaritas
Address: 1101 Hixson Pike
Score: 75
Critical issues: Yes. Five critical violations, including lack of proper hot holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 4/17

Restaurant: Thai Smile
Address: 219 Market St.
Score: Brought up from 75 to 95.
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 4/16

Restaurant: 58 Teriyaki Grill
Address: 4762 Highway 58
Score: 73
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned and sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 4/13

High score highlights

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

  • Merv’s Burgers, 6306 Highway 58
  • Days Inn, 2350 Shallowford Road
  • Loftis Middle School, 8611 Camp Columbus Road
  • Stroud’s at The Chattanoogan, 1201 S. Broad St.
  • Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant, 5694 Brainerd Road
  • Candy City, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd.
  • Polar Shaved Ice, 6140 E. Brainerd Road
  • Arby’s, 7314 Shallowford Road
  • East Hamilton School, 2015 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road
  • Grace Children’s Center
  • Tyner Junior High, 6337 Tyner Road
  • Dinner in the Diner, 4119 Cromwell Road
  • Westview, 9629 E. Brainerd Road
  • Hixson First Baptist, 5800 Grubb Road
  • Amigo’s Mexican (lounge), 5694 Brainerd Road

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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