In Pasadena, QR Codes and an Improved Database Being Put to Work Inspecting Restaurants

In Pasadena, QR Codes and an Improved Database Being Put to Work Inspecting RestaurantsAccording to Pasadena Star News, a new restaurant inspection system, previously scheduled to go live on April 1 of this year, has finally been put in place in Pasadena, California by the Pasadena Department of Public Health. It includes the launch of a new grade database as well as new rating placards that prominently feature the ubiquitous QR barcode.

Not only will the placards display whether a restaurant passed inspection, failed or passed conditionally, for the first time they will also feature the actual score the restaurant received out of a possible 100. Additionally, in order to give customers information about the particular restaurant’s inspection (which they will be able to see on the new database) QR codes will be available for them to scan with their smart phones.

Pasadena has been using a numerical grading system for quite some time but, in the past, the placards placed in restaurant windows or on their walls would only say whether a restaurant had passed or failed inspection. This is the first time that the actual numerical grade that they received will be displayed.

Restaurant inspections that have taken place since January 2014 will be displayed on the new database and, for consumers wishing to look further back, they will be able to find older inspections on the city’s legacy database.

The new system was actually opposed by former director Eric Walsh, who resigned in May over controversy due to discriminatory sermons he gave while he was a preacher with the Seventh-day Adventist church. Since then, assistant city manager Steve Mermel has been handling his duties.

According to Lisa Frias, the new system was put into effect to not only increase efficiency but also transparency.  Frias is the Environmental Health Division Director and, since she arrived in 2013, has put a number of initiatives front and center in Pasadena. The new restaurant inspection system was at the top of her list, due in part to the fact that the department was severely understaffed. In fact, many Pasadena restaurants have not been inspected for over a year.

If you live in Pasadena and would like to access their new restaurant database, check it out here.