How to Understand Your Health Inspection

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Let me start by saying this information is based on the 2015 Georgia State Food Code. If you live outside the state of Georgia, email a copy of your most recent health inspection and ask any question your like. If I don’t know the answer I will find it! My email address is

Let’s get started!

At the top of the page you will notice a header. The header is put into place to create the who, where, what and why of the health inspection.

The header includes;

· Name of the Business

· Address

· Time the Inspector arrived (In) and ended the inspection (out)

· Date of the Inspection

· CFSM on staff (Certified Food Safety Manager)

· Purpose of the Inspection (routine, follow-up, complaint, or re-inspection)

· Risk type (how often you should be inspected)

· Permit #

· Score

The name, address, time, and date are important for record keeping purposes but the rest of the header my leave you with a few questions.

Who is classified as a CFSM?

This person must have a Food Safety Manager Certification from a national recognized program such as ServSafe. This certification is good for 5 years before it needs to be removed. This person must be on staff at the time of the inspection. (More information on this will be covered in the next post. Stay Tuned!)

What are the different purposes of inspections?

Routine Inspection: every 6 months to a year a restaurant should receive a health inspection

Follow-up: In the case of a poor score, a restaurant must have a follow-up inspection conducted to allow them to make proper changes or risk having to close their restaurant due to non-compliance.

Complaint: If someone reports your restaurant to the local regulatory authority the CDC and/or local health department will send someone out in order to follow-up on the compliant.

Re-inspection: In the case your restaurant receives a score that you are not satisfied with, you are welcome to request a re-inspection at a cost.

How is Risk Type determined?

The risk type of a establishment is determined by the type of food you serve. Type 1 inspected annually, means no raw food. Type 2 inspected twice a year, means serves raw food. Type 3 inspected 3 times per year if you are required to have a HACCP Plan.

IN: In Compliance, all the codes pertaining to this area was followed

OUT: Part or all the codes pertaining to this area was not followed

NO: Not Observed

NA: Not Applicable to this establishment

In the event that something is marked out of compliance, it is also the inspector’s responsibility to mark COS or R, if applicable.

What is COS?

COS means it was corrected on site during the inspection

What is R?

R means it was a repeat offense based on the last routine inspection, not a follow-up.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please email me at for more information.

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