The Scoring System - Inspection Forms Explained

The scoring system used on restaurant inspections is a demerit system. There are 27 possible demerit items on an inspection form and each item has a demerit value assigned ranging from 3 to 5 demerits per violation. Each requirement violation will be logged as a numerical demerit on the inspection form. The severity of the violation will determine the demerit value assigned. For example, if an inspector observes a food handler handling money and then preparing food without first washing his/her hands, this will be logged as a 4 demerit violation under the personnel, handling and source requirements area.

Once an inspection has been completed, the sum of the demerits is calculated and this gives us a total demerit number. If the total number of demerits is greater than or equal to 30 demerits, the establishment must close until corrections are made to bring the establishment to a passing standard.

The demerits violations range in value according to the severity or importance for the propagation of foodborne illness as follows:

Violation Type
Food Temperature/Time Requirements 5 points
Personnel/Handling/Source Requirements 4 points
Facility and Equipment Requirements 3 points

To check recent inspection scores on a specific restaurant click on this link: Restaurant Scores