The latest health inspection results for more than 3,000 food establishments in Nassau County are now available for viewing at Newsday’s website.
The interactive data can be searched by community or restaurant name and show any violations found in the most recent inspection by county officials.
Newsday’s data are pulled from county reports collected by the New York State Department of Health.
Suffolk’s inspection results will be added later. Suffolk has temporarily stopped adding new inspection information as it revamps its website with new software, expected to take about six months.
Both counties inspect food establishments using random unannounced visits and checking for a long list of potential criminal and civil violations.
Most violations are civil. Fines run as high as $2,000.
The counties inspect restaurants, bars, cafeterias, bakeries, catering halls, pizzerias, doughnut shops, bagel stores, ice cream shops, portable food wagons. Supermarkets are inspected by the state under a separate program.
Nassau has 5,624 food service establishments to inspect, and the county does about 12,000 inspections a year, said Nassau County Department of Health spokeswoman Mary Ellen J. Laurain. The frequency of inspections depends on the type of business, she said.
Establishments considered at high risk of behaviors that can lead to food-borne illnesses, including full service restaurants, are inspected twice a year. Medium risk establishments are inspected once a year. They include fast food restaurants where times between preparation and service of food are typically shorter.
Low-risk establishments, such as bars with limited food service, get inspected once every two years.
But establishments of any type with many violations on their records are inspected more frequently, Laurain said. “We keep on going back,” she said.
Suffolk inspects more than 4,500 establishments, and officials there conducted 3,623 sanitary inspections last year, a county spokeswoman said. As in Nassau, frequencies vary by type of establishment.
The counties can close food establishments in the presence of an “imminent health hazard” from conditions that make it probable that continued operation will cause illness. But Laurain said most establishments correct critical violations right away.
To complain about a food service establishment in Nassau, call the health department at 516-227-9717.
In Suffolk, contact the Department of Health by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at 360 Yaphank Ave., Suite 2A, Yaphank, NY 11980, or call 631-852-5999.