When I search for restaurants on the Yelp app, I usually look at the reviews for recommendations. Now you can see the establishment's health department's scores too and some Iowa restaurant owners aren't pleased.

In case you didn't know, you can search the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals for your favorite restaurant's health inspections and violations. You'll get the inspection rating and a list of violations if any, and what the restaurant has done to correct any violations.

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The scores for the rating system are based on previous inspection results, violations, and how quickly the violations were corrected. The establishment then gets a score between 1 and 100 which gives customers a sense of how complaint a restaurant is with the health department. 

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Here's what it looks like when you search. You can even click on the list of violations to see where your favorite eatery needs to step it up.

Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals/TownsquareMedia
Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals/TownsquareMedia

Isn't that good information to have? None of us want to eat at places that aren't clean and don't prepare food properly. If a restaurant has a good rating, isn't that good for business?


Now you don't have to search the health department to find the score. As of March 31, 2022 that health score is listed on the Yelp app.

Yelp App Health Score
Yelp App Health Score

This restaurant has a great health score, but now you might find other places with lower ratings. A representative from the Iowa Restaurant Association says posting the score isn't a good plan.

According to KCCI-TV, Jessica Dunker, president of the Iowa Restaurant Association says the state already has a good system that addresses and publishes critical violations. She thinks if scores are published, it may turn away customers.

The worry is at a time when restaurants continue to recover, continue to struggle, that grades assiged by people not even in the state of Iowa and may or may not understand hoe inspection reports work, Dunker said.

The KICCI report also says Dunker is worried bout how the data is presented and how quickly establishments fix a problem. Inspections only represent a brief moment in time and it's always a good indication of what a restaurant does every day.

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What do you think? Would you still go to a restaurant with a lower health score? Maybe you'd rather NOT know what the health score is for your favorite dining establishment. Send us a message with your thoughts through the station app.

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