Noteworthy

Worker escapes fire at Cook Out in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, N.C. — An employee is alive after she escaped a fire at a Cook Out in Greensboro Wednesday morning. The woman was in the kitchen when she saw black smoke, according to the Greensboro Fire Department assistant fire chief. She ran out of the building and to another business to call 911. She was not injured and the fire is now out. The building sustained heavy damage and officials don’t know how the fire started. Fire is out! Crews […]
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The Triad’s highest and lowest restaurant sanitation ratings

*Editor’s note: The intention of this article is to inform our readers of the lowest and highest sanitation scores in the Triad. This article was not intended to endorse the restaurants with a high sanitation rating or discredit the restaurants that have a low sanitation rating.  My most terrifying Halloween was spent in the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill infirmary with a gruesome case of food poisoning. This happened after foolishly failing to notice the sanitation rating on the grease-splattered wall of a gyro joint on Franklin Street. Student Legal Services later assisted in the early stages of litigation, but over Thanksgiving break, the restaurant burned down and its owners moved out of state. Word on Franklin Street was that the grease that regularly splattered the establishment’s back wall had finally ignited it. Since then, I’ve always looked for the Public Health Inspection rating, and so should you. The score of 78 that the North Carolina Department of Public Health gave that Franklin Street grease palace, a number I can recall because it was also the grade on my Sociology final, would now be accompanied by a big bold “C,” the scarlet letter of sanitation ratings. Such letters did not become part of state-mandated restaurant grades until 1995, when the first such system was enacted by South Carolina, with North Carolina and Tennessee following suit. Under North Carolina law, any establishment that prepares and serves drink or food to the public for pay is subject to inspection by the Environmental Health Section within the Division of Public Health, which is part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Every food service establishment in Guilford and Forsyth counties receives an unannounced, on-site inspection one to four times a year. The inspection ensures that the establishment is meeting food safety requirements. The inspector records any observed violations during the inspection. Each violation is associated with a range of points depending on the type and extent of the violation and the risk it poses to the public. At the end of the inspection, the points are added together for an inspection score. A numerical scoring system on a 100-point scale is used with points deducted for each violation. As one might expect, a score of 90-100 points is an “A,” 80-89 points a “B” and 70-79 points is a “C.” Anything below 70 points results in the immediate revocation of the establishment’s permit, and its operations must cease until all issues are corrected. Once an establishment is inspected and receives a grade, its permit is required to be posted in conspicuous view of all diners. With that in mind, here follows an examination of restaurant sanitation ratings in the databases maintained by the Guilford and Forsyth County Departments of Public Health. The Guilford County database includes 1,146 restaurants, 32 food stands and 63 food trucks, as well as sanitation ratings for a variety of establishments and facilities outside the scope of this article, including commercial lodgings, school cafeterias, and tattoo parlors. Similarly, the Forsyth database covers 779 restaurants, 246 food stands and 17 food trucks. This data can be accessed via the following URLs, reduced using Google’s URL Shortener. Guilford:  goo.gl/VS29gE Forsyth: goo.gl/eaZTTW The databases can only be sorted by letter grade, date, restaurant name, city name or zip code; the site doesn’t allow a viewer to sort, for instance, all the grades or any subset of them in descending order, with either the lowest or the highest first. This isn’t a problem when determining the lowest-rated restaurants, as only one Guilford County establishment and 11 Forsyth County establishments received a “C” in the last five years. Even all the “B” ratings over that period of time, 182 for Forsyth and 46 for Guilford, can be browsed in a couple of hours. Sorting the “A”s is more difficult, as 1,120 Guilford County restaurants received a rating between 90 and 100 on their most recent inspect, with the figure being 735 for Forsyth. Therefore, while it was relatively simple to determine the lowest-rated restaurants, there was a lot more data to sort through for the highest-rated ones. Yes! Weekly apologizes for any restaurants that may have been in the highest percentile but was unintentionally left out here because their last inspection occurred before August. It should also be noted that the cut-off for this article was midnight on Oct. 13, and it does not reflect any grades posted to the website after that time, regardless of when the inspection occurred. The online version of this article will be updated to reflect any corrections received. With that caveat in mind, here are the top 10 restaurants for Guilford County.  The following three restaurants received “perfect scores” of 100 on their last inspection: Bella Luna, 2205 Oak Ridge Rd., Oak Ridge. Hungry Howie’s Pizza #625, 5710 Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. Mythos Grill, 4900 West Market St., Greensboro. It should be noted that Hungry Howie’s #625 has received 100 on five of its six inspections since September 2014. Mythos Grill has received three scores of 100, one of 99.5 and one of 99 since 2015. Bella Luna’s inspection of Sept. 25 was its first. Six Guilford County restaurants received scores of 99.5, with all their most recent inspections occurring since July of this year. Jamestown Park Grill, 7041 East Fork Rd., Jamestown. Mikhael’s Café and Catering, 4214 Beechwood Dr., Greensboro. New York China Restaurant, 7605-H, NC HWY 68, North Oak Ridge. Penny’s Restaurant, 727 W. Main St., Jamestown. Sidwill’s Café & Catering, 116 E. Main Street, Jamestown. Subway #65376, 5635 Riverdale Rd., Jamestown. The top 10 is rounded out by Cincy’s Downtown at 115 E. February 1 Place in Greensboro, which received a 98. Dozens of other Guilford County restaurants received an identical store, but Cincy’s was the most recent to do so. A special honorable mention might be made of Elizabeth’s Pizza at 1218 Bridford Parkway in Greensboro, which received a 97.5 on Aug. 15, but 100 on its previous six […]
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Trial to see if General Assembly went too far in drawing congressional maps for political gain

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A three judge panel will hear expert testimony to see if North Carolina lawmakers went too far in drawing congressional maps to benefit their party. This is one of many lawsuits across the country involving partisan and racial gerrymandering, or packing voters into districts based on their race or party affiliation. It is illegal to pack voters based on race, but no clear precedent has been set for political vote packing. Partisan gerrymandering is legal, but the […]
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