The local health inspector can be your greatest friend or your greatest foe depending on how you run your restaurant. A glowing health inspection score can influence how people perceive your restaurant. Seeing a score in the high 90s or even a perfect 100 shows that you care about your business.
However, if you don't keep things clean, safe, and pest-free, then you could find yourself in the local newspaper. Many inspectors report restaurant closures and egregious violations to the local media so they can alert the public about why a restaurant is closed down. WFLA in Tampa recently reported on five restaurants that were on the inspector's naughty lists.
The primary culprit was the presence of live and dead roaches, although one restaurant had a rat problem, and another had issues with food storage. It’s basic common sense to never store raw food above ready-to-eat food, and to store all processed foods in food-safe storage containers, but due to a lack of diligence these things can happen. The sad thing is that many violations are easy to fix with a little attention to detail.
As a restaurant owner or even a frequent diner, you can familiarize yourself with the types of health violations a restaurant can get cited for. That will help you make better decisions and possibly save you from nasty write up in the local paper, or worse yet a bout of food poisoning.