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An inside look at Tri-City restaurant inspections

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- You sit down at your favorite restaurant with the hope it's safe and sanitary, but pictures straight from our health district prove that may not always be the case.

Action News goes behind the counter with our health inspectors to show you what goes into getting the seal of approval at your local food establishments.

“A lot of times people joke that we're the food police,” said Benton Franklin Health District’s Jessica Davis, adding “Our goal is not to come in and criticize the way that you're doing things. Our goal is to come in and make sure you're serving a safe product.”

We followed inspector Jess Davis as she patrolled the Green Dot Sub Shop, using her gadgets to first gauge the temperatures for tomatoes and lettuce used on your lunch.

Inspectors search for 50 different potential hazards, from low risk to red critical violations, that could shut a place down.

“If they can't remedy right there right then then they may need to close it could be for five minutes. It could be for five hours or five days it just depends on the severity,” said Davis.

Critical violations span from cooks not washing hands or vegetables before making a meal, to storing raw meat in the wrong way.

“Any type of facility that serves food, no matter how complex it is, we do those inspections to make sure that they are following the food safety guidelines set forth by the FDA,” said Davis.

With each walk through, the Health District is working towards a goal of getting rid of food borne illness to keep you and your family safe.

Green Dot Shop only had one violation, they had to replace a battery in one of their soap dispensers.

As for the rest of the inspections, put your stomach at ease, BFHD puts each of these inspections on its web page.

These inspections cover anything from a restaurant, convenience store, a concession stand, to your annual pancake fundraiser with the fire department.

“It's buyer beware,” said Davis, adding “Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into."

You can find inspections for your local restaurants here.

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