FISHERS – Foodies in Fishers will soon have an idea of how clean their favorite restaurants are before even walking inside. The health department started assigning letter grades based on inspection results — that restaurants will need to post on their doors beginning this Friday.
If you see a big letter “A” on a restaurant’s door, that means the Fishers Health Department finds it “exceptionally compliant.” Such is the case for Schoolhouse 7 Cafe, which fittingly passed the most recent test with flying colors.
“We’re very proud of the fact that we got an A,” assistant manager Lily Young said. “Definitely expected though, I would say.”
This cafe, along with every restaurant in Fishers, will be required to display their grades by the end of September – signaling to customers how sanitary they are. A “B” grade means a restaurant is acceptable. A “C” means it meets the minimum requirements, but any score below that threshold gets an establishment shut down.
“It’s a 5 by 7 placard. It should be 4-6 feet off the ground and within 5 feet of the door – easy to see, easy to read,” Public Health Director Monica Heltz said.
It’s all based on a 100-point scale. Core violations, often related to general maintenance, cost an establishment two points. The next category of infractions, which might enable those deemed “priority” concerns, deduct three points. Potentially hazardous violations cost five.
“If I saw a B or a C, I’d be like, I don’t really want to eat there,” Young said. “Don’t really want that chance of food poisoning.”
It’s an extra incentive for restaurant operators to avoid missing the mark, and a system supported by the CDC. Researchers say posting health department inspection results for all customers to see – is linked with fewer foodborne outbreaks.
“We want to make sure our residents don’t get sick when eating at their favorite places, and this is an evidence-based strategy to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” Heltz said.
A February FOX59 investigation found limited access to restaurant inspection reports across Indiana. State law doesn’t require them to be posted online. Fishers is only the second Indiana municipality to adopt this protocol.
“It may not be for every community and that’s okay, but we think our residents and visitors to fishers are really going to appreciate this, and our restaurants will too,” Heltz said.
You can find all available grades and inspection reports on an online dashboard. Right now, of the more than 300 permanent restaurants in Fishers, 85% have “A” grades. 28 restaurants have “B” grades. 17 have “C” grades.