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Restaurant inspections: Your right to know, if you can find 'em

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After seeing yet another TV "reality" restaurant show featuring a disgusting kitchen today, I was curious to see how county governments in the Capital Region are doing with their inspections.

Well, they may be doing them as required, but as far as making it easy for taxpayers to access such information, they're doing an abominable job.

This footnote, for example, on the Albany County Department of Health's home page caught my attention:

PLEASE NOTE: This database, which is updated weekly, contains restaurant inspection information as of October of 2005. If you are looking for inspection information prior to that date please contact the Albany County Health Department.

Curious that there is an 8½ period without posted inspections in the region's most populous county for the public to see.

Going to other county health department websites and looking for inspection information, I found:

  • Columbia County's last posting was in 2010, although the Hudson Register-Star newspaper does its duty by regularly publishing inspection results, the last being conducted in December 2013.
  • Schoharie County's latest was a single inspection dated January 2014.
  • Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren and Greene counties' websites do not appear to contain any restaurant inspection information at all. A search on each site for "restaurants," "inspections" and "restaurant inspections" comes up blank.

Disappointing, to put it mildly. I'm hoping any readers of this blog -- including county officials -- will let me know if I'm missing something.

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