If you think Virginia restaurants should post their latest health inspection reports where you can see them, I’m asking for your help.
Since I work in North Carolina occasionally, I notice that North Carolina restaurants have to post a card with their latest health inspection rating and score. That rating card has to be posted so that you can see it as you walk in. If a restaurant has anything less than a “A” rating, I’m not going to eat there. I looked up the laws in Virginia and found out that Virginia restaurants are only required to post a certificate that says that the Health Department has approved them (and nothing about the rating).
Armed with that information, I called Danny Marshall‘s office a few months ago and told Mary Franklin (his legislative aide) that I had an idea for a new state law that would require Virginia restaurants to post their latest inspection report. Danny and Mary started the process on checking out existing laws. After an opinion from the State Health Commissioner saying that she didn’t think such a law was necessary due to inspection reports being available on the internet and her opinion that public display of inspection reports would possibly subject the inspectors to undue pressure from restaurant owners. After reading her letter, I was outraged at her objections. If I decide to go into a new restaurant, I’m not going to stop and check the internet for the report. As for the “undue pressure” reason, I feel that is an internal policing matter for the VDH to deal with and not my problem.
FastForward to the chase. Danny Marshall agreed to introduce my idea as a new bill in the General Assembly… and here it is!
Display of restaurant inspection reports. Requires every restaurant licensed by the State Board of Health to display a copy of the most recent restaurant inspection report, which shall include evidence of the number of critical violations found during the inspection, in a place where it is readily observable by the public transacting business with the establishment.
If you agree with me and think this is a good idea, I am asking you to contact your legislators and ask them to support HB 1927. If there is a lot of support for this bill, there’s a chance that this idea could become a law. Whether the bill passes or fails, I’m learning a lot in my first attempt to get a bill through the General Assembly.