July 23, 2014

Restaurant Inspections: Map, Graphs & Stories


For the past five years, Champaign Urbana Public Health District officials have discussed ways to best publicize restaurant inspections. In September, they began doing so.

Health inspection reports of restaurants and food facilities are available by request from the health department. Last year, the health department also began posting a monthly list of all inspected food facilities and the current status.

In 2011, CU-CitizenAccess.org began posting full inspection reports of all restaurants that failed routine health inspections since 2008.

As a service, we continue to post the full reports of failed health inspections as part of our searchable, interactive map.

Scroll below to access the restaurant map and read the CU-CitizenAccess stories about restaurant inspections in Champaign County.

Restaurant Inspection Map


Click the map to access failed inspection reports of restaurants in Champaign County since 2008.

Access a map with all inspection reports between September 2011 to February 2013 here

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District makes health inspection reports available online

By Emma Weissmann/For CU-CitizenAccess.orgAfter five years of trying to get restaurant inspection reports on their Web site, public health officials finally succeeded this month.

The Web site at http://c-uphd.org/foodinspections.html now delivers a wealth of information on the inspections, including the inspection history and scores for more than 1,000 food establishments, graphs and other information.

The health department opened the Web site earlier this month, but did not announce it until today.

The reports can be found on the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District‘s Environmental Health section, under “Programs and Services.” A user can click “Search Inspections” and search for an establishment under a variety of categories, including its name, adjusted score range and risk categories, among others

Mold in ice machine, flies in drain among dozens of violations in area restaurants

Aug. 22, 2014

By Claire Everett/CU-CitizenAccess.org

Meat leaking blood into cases of beer, ice machines with mold and flies in drains  were among the critical violations public health inspectors found in city and county restaurants and grocery stores over the past three months.

Champaign County health department inspectors failed 13 businesses and closed one of them briefly. In total, inspectors cited the businesses for more than 110 critical violations.

In addition,  inspectors found three food businesses were operating without licenses.

Trial period over – yellow placards could be coming to a restaurant near you

July 3, 2014

By Claire Everett/CU-CitizenAccess.org — Between January and May, 32 restaurants in Champaign-Urbana failed health inspections.

Diners still had no easy way of knowing if a restaurant failed – until last week.

Despite the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s new requirement in January that restaurants post yellow placards if they failed their inspections, the district decided to allow a six-month grace period.

That meant even restaurants that failed were able to make corrections during the inspection and post a green placard indicating they passed. In a few cases, restaurants failed so badly they shut down and had to post a red placard.

Wanted: Your restaurant photos

Thursday, May 22, 2014

By Pamela G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess.org — Under a new notification system that began Jan. 1, restaurants and food establishments in Champaign-Urbana are required to post a color-coded placard based on health inspection results.

Until July 1, placards posted will either be green for “satisfactory compliance” or red for “closed.”

Starting July 1, restaurants that fail inspections but allowed to remain open must post a yellow placard for “re-inspection required”.

First quarter brings two closures, 18 restaurant failures

Thursday, May 1, 2014

By Claire Everett | CU-CitizenAccess.org

One Champaign restaurant was shut down for 37 violations during the first part of the year under the health department’s new placard system.

Another restaurant, Cactus Grill, was briefly shut down during its inspection for lack of hot water on Jan. 23.

In the three months of the new program, Firehaus, 708 S. Sixth St., was closed because it failed its routine March inspection with an adjusted score of negative 19.

Outside Chambana, posting placards is voluntary

Thursday, May 1, 2014

By Melanie Campbell and Claire Everett | CU-CitizenAccess.org

Anyone entering the Culver’s on Neil Street in Champaign will immediately see a placard showing the results of the restaurant’s most recent food inspection.

Drive one mile south to the Burger King in Savoy, and there is no placard displayed.

Since Jan. 1, food establishments within Champaign and Urbana have been required to display these placards after a unanimous vote by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s Board of Health in November.

The Champaign County Board struck down the proposed law in a 11-9 vote. As a result, facilities outside Champaign-Urbana but within Champaign County are not required to post inspection placards.


Yellow placards go missing in first six months of new year

Thursday, May 1, 2014

By Claire Everett | CU-CitizenAccess.org

Nearly two dozen restaurants in Champaign-Urbana have failed health inspections during the past three months. But most customers would not know that, despite new requirements that restaurants post results of their inspections.

Under a new notification system that began Jan. 1, restaurants and food establishments in Champaign-Urbana are required to post a color-coded placard based on health inspection results.

Six area restaurant fail inspections in November, December

Friday, Jan. 24, 2014

Pam G. Dempsey – Six local restaurants recently failed health inspections, and one of them is now at risk for losing its food service permit if it fails again.

Cravings, at 603 Wright St. in Champaign, was closed in December after failing its seventh health inspection with an adjusted score of minus 3 and 10 critical violations.

Restaurants fail inspections if they get a score of 35 or lower out of 100 and are immediately closed if they score below zero or if they have a critical violation that poses a danger to the public.

On Dec. 5th, Public Health District Inspectors found several food items out of safe temperature ranges and produce placed directly on a preparation table that also was used for raw meat.

Moldy Cool Whip, a baby cockroach and warm raw meat among violations found in 11 area restaurants

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013

By  Pamela G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess.org — Eleven restaurants failed health inspections in October, with critical violations ranging from employees not washing hands to potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges.

One restaurant, Smoky’s House BBQ, was closed down after it failed a re-inspection.

Inspectors temporarily shut down Smoky’s House BBQ, 1333 Savoy Plaza Lane, Savoy, Oct. 7 after citing the restaurant for five critical violations, including meats such as sausages and ribs that were found to be out of safe temperature ranges.

Local health department aims to roll out online inspection reports in the new year

Friday, Nov. 1, 2013

By Pamela G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess — Champaign public health officials are once again aiming for a Jan. 1 target date to post restaurant inspection reports online.

When asked about the updated plans, Jim Roberts, environmental health director, said the move is “in development”.

The “vendor needs to make our corrections and when completed, embed their content in our document, then test,” he responded in an email.

Earlier this week, the Champaign Urbana Public Health Districtand the Champaign County Board of Health held a study session to discuss a year-old proposal to better inform diners of health inspection results.

Unsafe food temperatures contribute to three failed restaurant inspections in August

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess –Three area restaurants failed health inspections in August according to new data released this month.

Inspectors found broken coolers and equipment and food out of safe temperature ranges in each restaurant.

One restaurant was temporarily closed after inspectors found multiple violations, including raw chicken out of safe temperature ranges stored in a broken cooler.


One restaurant temporarily shut down, two others fail inspections in July

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

One restaurant was temporarily shut down after failing a second health inspection in July. Two other places failed as well but remained open.

Peking Garden, 206 N. Randolph St., Champaign, was closed on July 2 with an adjusted score of 18 percent after a failing routine inspection in June.

On July 2, inspectors cited Peking Garden for 16 repeat violations and three critical violations, including cooked rice that was improperly cooling, an employee washing hands in the food preparation sink and spray bottles that were not labeled with their contents.


Restaurants temporarily closed in June for failing health inspections have similar history

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Three of the five restaurants that failed health inspections in June were temporarily closed over multiple repeat violations and failures.

One restaurant, Main St. Wingery II in Mahomet, had 18 repeat violations that helped net it a score of -20 on its June 18 health inspection.

Another restaurant, Cravings, 603 S. Wright St., Champaign, failed five out of its last seven routine health inspections prompting health officials to shut it down until the restaurant passed reinspection eight days later.


From fuzzy mold to raw sewage – 11 area restaurants failed health inspections in April, May 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eleven restaurants failed health inspections in April and May, with critical violations ranging from employees not washing hands to potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges.

One restaurant was temporarily closed and another voluntarily shut down following health inspections. Both were reopened within 24 hours.

Sol Azteca, 405 S. Century Blvd., Rantoul, was shut down April 29 after inspectors noted raw sewage discharging in the kitchen.

Inspectors also noted four other critical violations including potentially hazardous food that was at an unsafe temperature.  The restaurant was allowed to reopen the next day after the sewage problem was repaired.


Few restaurants netted top scores on health inspections 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess —  Just 29 Champaign County eateries ranked in the top scoring health inspections over the past six months, a new CU-CitizenAccess.org analysis shows.

Of the 703 health inspections of food establishments and restaurants between September 2012 and February 2013, 172 inspections scored 90 and above.


Six restaurants temporarily shut down after failing health inspections 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twenty-one restaurants in Champaign County failed health inspections in the last six  months, with critical violations ranging from improper storage of food to employees failing to wash their hands.

Six were temporarily shut down.


Health officials put restaurant inspection placard system on the table

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

By Kevin Huebschman/For CU-CitizenAccess — A proposal to require restaurant owners to post a color-coded placard based on their latest health inspection results has raised concern among some county board members.

While it is common throughout Illinois and throughout the United States for restaurants to have inspections posted at the restaurants or publicized in newspapers or on the Web, some county board members worried more about the economic impact on restaurant owners.


Health officials pursuing publicizing inspection restaurants

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess — By as early as next year, health inspections of restaurants throughout Champaign County may be one of three colors – green, yellow or red.

At a joint study session Tuesday night, members of the boards of health for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and Champaign County gave public health officials the go-ahead to pursue a new notification system that would require restaurant owners to post a color-coded placard based on the results of health inspections.


14 restaurants fail health inspections in June and July

Friday, September 7, 2012

These are the 14 restaurants that failed health inspections in June and July, according to Champaign-Urbana Public Health District inspection reports for June and July obtained by CU-CitizenAccess through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Restaurants with adjusted scores between 0 and 35 points can  remain open and an unannounced re-inspection is required within 30 days. Restaurants scoring below 0 are automatically closed down.


Health district makes move toward online restaurant reports; publicizing reports still under discussion –

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess — After spending four years discussing how to best publicize restaurant inspections, county public health officials are now offering Champaign diners a small appetizer of them.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is posting on its web site the names of the restaurants that have been inspected and whether they need to be re-inspected, but they aren’t saying whether the restaurants have failed inspections and they aren’t posting their inspection scores. And the district does not say clearly whether a restaurant has been closed.


Fifth health inspection failure threatens food service permit of Campustown restaurant

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess — Five restaurants failed their health inspections between March and May of this year. For Geovanti’s Bar and Grill, 401 E. Green St. in Urbana, it was the fifth failure in a row and one that netted the restaurant an immediate suspension.


Local health officials continue to discuss publicizing restaurant inspections

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess –  Public health officials continue to give failing scores to restaurants in Champaign County each month, but after more than three years of study they still have not decided how to make those inspections routinely public.

Most recently, Champaign County Board of Health members said they wanted to wait for a national food protection group to issue recommendations after it met in Indianapolis in April. The recommendations would have guided health officials on how to make inspections public.


7 Champaign County restaurants fail January inspections

Thursday, March 8, 2012

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess — The list of seven Champaign County restaurants that failed public health inspections in January features a mix of new and familiar names.

One of the familiar names was Garcia’s Pizza in a Pan, 313 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign


December sees few failed restaurant inspections

Thursday, February 9, 2012

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess — Only two Champaign County restaurants failed public health inspections in December, the fewest in any month since June.

Maize Mexican Grill, 60 E. Green St., and The Clark Bar, 207 W. Clark St., both in Champaign, failed after inspectors from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District gave them each a score lower than 36 out of 100.


Health district won’t meet January goal for posting restaurant inspections online

Friday, December 16, 20122

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess — Despite promises over the past four years to post restaurant inspection reports online, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will miss another self-imposed deadline to do so.

Because of ongoing “computer glitches,” district officials said they would fail to post the restaurant inspection reports online in January. They set that goal earlier this year in an interview with CU-CitizenAccess.org for a story on restaurants that failed inspections and after promising since 2008 to make the information more easily available to the dining public.


8 restaurants fail October health inspections

Thursday, November 8, 2011

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess — Eight restaurants in Champaign County failed public health inspections in October, according to new records obtained by CU-CitizenAccess.

Among the failures was Geovanti’s Bar & Grill, 401 E. Green St., Champaign. The Campustown restaurant scored 31 out of 100 on its Oct. 20 inspection by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.


New records show more restaurant inspection failures

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess — When public health officials conducted a routine inspection of Quiznos in Urbana last month, they discovered 12 critical health-code violations.

They included a “bag of brown lettuce found soaking in liquid in [the] walk-in cooler;” vegetables, cheese and salad dressings stored at improper temperatures; and employees cleaning cutting boards and knives without a proper sanitizer. When inspection was finished Quiznos had scored a negative 22 on the district’s 100-point grading scale.


County board of health delays publication of inspection reports

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess — Over the past four years, health inspectors failed one of out 10 restaurants, but the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District has never informed the public of those failures.

On Tuesday night, members of the Champaign County Board of Health said they believe the public should have easier access to information about inspections of restaurants. But they failed to take immediate action, saying they wanted to wait for a national group to meet in Indianapolis next year and weigh in on the issue.
Eating Out: Do you know how your favorite restaurants fared in public health inspections? 

Illinois Public Media explores the topic during Focus, which aired Sept. 13, 2011.

The show’s guests included Jim Roberts of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and Douglas Toole of the Vermilion County Health Department.

This is the archived show and transcript.


Champaign County restaurants fail inspections but public never told

Friday, September 9, 2011

By Dan Petrella and Jennifer Wheeler/CU-CitizenAccess

Geovanti’s Bar & Grill on Green Street failed its restaurant inspections five times from September 2008 through February of this year.

But no one who eats there would ever know, unless they took the initiative to request copies of the popular Campustown restaurant’s inspection reports from the local health department.

That’s because, unlike many other counties and cities in central Illinois and across the country, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District currently does not publicize in any form the results of about 1,300 inspections it conducts each year at restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service facilities.