FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - For the past three years, Valley News Live has been uncovering the inspection records of some of the dirtiest and cleanest places to eat around the Red River Valley with our weekly feature, Restaurant Report Card.
We've heard from many of you who say you like knowing who's not making the grade. We've also heard from many restaurants who haven't enjoyed their dirty secrets made public.
Beginning next year, Fargo Cass Public Health will be inspecting some restaurants more than others and this will impact what you know about your favorite eateries.
The change comes in the form of a three tiered system.
Tier 1 includes places like Starbucks and most convenience stores. They'll be inspected at least once per year.
Tier 2 includes your fast food restaurants, think McDonald's, Dairy Queen or Kentucky Fried Chicken. They'll all be inspected at least twice per year.
Tier 3 establishments will receive the most attention. Lucy's North China Cuisine, Doolittle's Bar and Grill, Brewtus' Brickhouse, all places that offer a full service restaurant experience. They'll be inspected at least three times per year.
Places like jails, hospitals, and nursing homes will also be inspected at least three times per year because they serve either a vulnerable or group-setting population where food borne illnesses could spread quickly.
The tiers are ranked 1 to 3, showing which establishments have working environment that are more susceptible to food borne illnesses. That's why full service restaurants are inspected more than fast food places or coffee shops.
This change comes directly from the Food and Drug Administration through the North Dakota Department of Health to hopefully combat the incidents of food borne illness.
It's important to note we have tried for weeks to speak on camera with inspectors from the health department about the new system. We have been unsuccessful in getting anyone to speak, besides through email.
We will continue to pull inspection records on restaurants in the area as they are inspected under the new process and let you know what we find.