The Coastal Health District statement on Hinesville Sonic
Our Environmental Health specialists are responsible for inspecting food service establishments and do so at least twice a year (according to the state code) but make every attempt to complete additional inspections if at all possible. If a specific complaint is received, as happened in this case, an inspector will follow up as soon as possible.
In this instance the Environmental Health Division at the Liberty County Health Dept. received a complaint on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and followed up the morning on Thursday, Jan. 3 (within 24 hours). Noting a problem, the restaurant was closed by the Environmental Health inspector and the restaurant took appropriate action to mitigate the problem. The restaurant was re-inspected this morning, (Friday, Jan. 4) and re-opened.
The last five inspection scores, along with violations, can be viewed for any food service establishment in the state of Georgia. To see scores for establishments in the Coastal Health District (Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties), go to www.gachd.org and click on "Restaurant Inspections" under the Quick Links menu. It is my understanding that this particular establishment was last inspected in mid-November and no similar issues were noted at that time. Again, our inspectors conduct routine inspections at least twice a year, if not more. If something comes to light in between those inspections, they follow up.
The inspectors use a letter and number grading system to score each establishment and the report with the final score must be placed in a conspicuous area for the public to see.
Public health food service inspectors focus on how well a facility is using prevention measures to reduce the potential for foodborne illness caused by the five most common risk factors as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Purchasing food from unsafe sources
Failing to cook food adequately
Holding food at incorrect temperatures 4. Using contaminated equipment 5. Practicing poor personal hygiene
Deductions are made if violations are found during an inspection:
One to three point violations must be corrected prior to the next routine inspection.
Four point violations should also be corrected at the time of the inspection; if possible, otherwise they must be corrected prior to the next inspection.
Nine point violations MUST be corrected at the time of the inspection.
The state code recognizes a insect/rodent/animal issue as a three point violation.
Please understand that all of our Environmental Health inspectors take their jobs very seriously. The purpose of inspecting food service establishments is to ensure the health of the citizens that eat at the establishment. Our inspectors follow state food service code guidelines closely during routine inspections and take any appropriate actions if those guidelines are not being met. If a complaint is filed, they follow up quickly and also take any appropriate actions necessary.
For additional info., here is a link to Georgia's rules and regs governing food service: