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Details

Team Members:
Brant Houston
Acton Gorton
Loretta Auvil
Pam Dempsey

Website:
Champaign-Urbana Restaurant Inspection Data Website

Platform:
Web Application

Location:
Champaign, IL

Category:
Health

Data Sets:

 






Champaign-Urbana Restaurant Inspection Data, an interactive map allows the community to see how their favorite restaurant or eatery scored on health inspections by using a color-coded scale that indicate failing, passing, above passing and excellent.

champaign-rest_v2

How did you us the data set(s) in your Submission?

The data is part of a regular Freedom of Information Act request that we file each month. We scrape the individual reports to compile scores for each restaurant inspected between September 2011 to date. This feeds our submission.

What problem/challenge is your Submission helping to solve, and how?

It is common for restaurants across the country to be required to publicize health inspection reports by posting a placard with a score or letter grade. Restaurants within The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District are not. Our submission makes public the information that diners need to make better informed decisions quickly and easily. Up until now, diners had no idea how their favorite restaurant ranked on health inspections unless they directly filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

What community members will your Submission help serve, and how will they be impacted?

Everyone who eats out or buys food at a grocery store, gas station or school is served by our submission. This allows them to not only see the restaurants that failed inspections but to see the scores of every inspected eatery. 

Health officials argue that the scores do not tell consumers anything meaningful and are flawed; however, the scores are still used by health officials to measure a restaurant’s health inspection. 

By using our submission, diners can be better informed about where they choose to eat.

How do you envision city and/or state government utilizing your Submission to make a positive impact on the Pilot Community of State of Illinois?

An earlier version of this submission, which shows only the restaurants that fail health inspections, prompted health officials to post a list each month of restaurants that are inspected and the status of each inspection. 

Yet, studies have shown that when results are publicized, restaurants tend to do better on health inspections. 

We believe our submission will prompt the same behavior as well as keep diners better informed about where they are eating. 

Until we launched the initial version in 2011, diners did not know about the campus town eatery that was regularly closed due to multiple health violations such as mold and slime on the walls. 

We will build upon this application with other food open data sources such as the USDA and FDA.

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