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.

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

Restaurant: Little Caesar’s
Address: 10161 Dayton Pike
Score: Brought up from 90 to 95.
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 5/3

Restaurant: Sonic
Address: 3222 Cummings Highway
Score: 89
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation—lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 5/4

Restaurant: Red Sauce
Address: 14 Kent St.
Score: Brought up from 88 to 98.
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of date marking and disposition.
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 5/14

Restaurant: Cloud Nine
Address: 5600 Brainerd Road
Score: 87
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper hot holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 5/4

Restaurant: Mike’s Smokehouse
Address: 3147 S. Broad St.
Score: 87
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation—food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 5/2

Restaurant: Hardee’s
Address: 220 Browns Ferry Road 
Score: 85
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of demonstrating of understanding health compliance status.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 5/4

Restaurant: Sing It or Wing It
Address: 412 Market St.
Score: Brought up from 82 to 97.
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including toxic substances not properly identified/stored/used.
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: Done on same day as original

Restaurant: China Gourmet
Address: 321 Browns Ferry Road
Score: 78
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper date marking and disposition.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 5/7

Restaurant: 58 Teriyaki Grill
Address: 4762 Highway 58
Score: Brought up from 73 to 92.
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 5/7

High score highlights

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

  • Alhambra, 1000 Alhambra Drive
  • Daisy Head Start, 9531 W. Ridgetrail Road
  • Calamansi Café, 1900 Reggie White Blvd.
  • Brown Acres, 406 Broad Road
  • Mayan Kitchen, 507 Broad St.
  • Firehouse Subs, 6025 E. 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.