Today the LoCO is thrilled to launch the internet’s newest feature — “INSPECTED”

INSPECTED is an easy-to-use, up-to-date interface into reports produced by Humboldt County’s Division of Environmental Health, which is charged with inspecting almost every restaurant and similar facility in the county to make sure that the food they’re serving is being produced in accordance with the relevant health codes. 

One of the great things about America is that we agree, collectively, to employ a class of civil servants to work for the common good, and to report the results of their labors back to the public. Health inspectors, for example. In order to limit outbreaks of foodborne illness, we send them out to visit places where food is prepared for public consumption and to make sure that their dishwashers are functioning properly, that chicken is cooked to a temperature that will kill salmonella bacteria, that the proprietors haven’t surrendered in the never-ending war against rodents. Hundreds of things like this.

And one of the great things about the LoCO is we make such information available to the people who pay for it in the user-friendliest fashion possible! Humboldt County, for whatever reason, is a little bit behind the state-of-the-art when it comes to informing the public about this critical work. In many other places in the state, restaurants are required to post a county-issued letter grade in their window that indicates, at a glance, the results of the most recent health inspection. 

We’re not doing that yet, but we can do this: INSPECTED. All the inspections!

Roachy waves hello.

INSPECTED is hosted by our friend “Roachy,” a fine-dining connoisseur and race traitor. He deplores those of his brethren who choose to make a living in the sneaky, underhanded ways that have given his kind such a bad reputation in the human sphere. 

To prove his bona fides, Roachy has agreed to inhabit the pages of INSPECTED and recite the letter of the law to food facilities who have been found in violation of this regulation or that. Doesn’t matter if the violation relates to pest prevention or not — Roachy cares about his human friends, and wants everyone to eat in perfect confidence. He does not mean to shame, but rather to offer gentle critique, where warranted, in that spirit of continual self-improvement to which we all aspire. He’s part Marie Kondo, part Henry Higgins, part Felix Unger. Kind of preachy, if we’re being honest about it. Not a great party guest.

However, when a food facility passes inspection with no violations found whatsoever, Roachy will be the first to raise high his tarsus and sing that establishment’s praises!

So here’s how it works. Anytime you need to, you may head on over to the INSPECTED main page and find the most recent inspections posted by the Division of Environmental Health, in reverse chronological order. (NOTE: At the moment, the DEH is releasing these one week after the inspection itself is performed.) Also, you can use the search bar, there, to look up whatever establishment you’re interested in.

Also, throughout the day, as new inspections are received, they’ll pop up in the “Alerts” section of the homepage, with all the car crashes and police calls for service and minor power outages and things like that. Should we make a notifications channel for people who want push notifications when new reports are posted? You tell us.

Finally, some caveats: The Division of Environmental Health does not inspect food facilities on tribal territory — restaurants in casinos, for example — so you won’t find that information here, sadly. Also: Rather than letting the county inspect facilities within its borders, for whatever reason the City of Ferndale employs its own health inspector. So Ferndale restaurants aren’t on here either.

I think that’s all! Leave your question in the comments, or click right on over to INSPECTED! Happy inspecting!