WIUM Tristates Public Radio

IL Health Departments to Switch to Pass/Fail Inspection System

Apr 18, 2016

Health departments across Illinois are adopting a new method for evaluating food establishments.

The current 100-point inspection form used by the McDonough County Health Department. Only 3 of the 45 inspection areas fall under the "personnel" category.
Credit McDonough County Health Dept.

Chris Adams, Environmental Health Director for the McDonough County Health Department, said a 100-point rating system is currently used when doing inspections, but a simple pass/fail (or “in compliance/out of compliance”) method could prove beneficial to their daily operations.

While Peoria made this switch independently last month, McDonough County is holding out until the Illinois Dept. of Public Health adopts the FDA Food Code statewide. 

“Those changes, when they do happen, are going to allow more enforcement for local health departments. So you have much more weight behind that enforcement, and quicker response,” Adams said.

The proposed "In/Out of Compliance" inspection form focuses more on employee compliance and retail practices.
Credit McDonough County Health Dept.

Adams said the change would allow inspectors to focus more on the behaviors of the employees at the establishment rather than on technicalities that he referred to as, “floors, walls, ceilings”. 

He added that this change is long overdue because it would give more weight to the critical violations that  make people sick.

Adams said he hopes the statewide change will be made by 2020.