San Mateo County Getting Ready to Debut New Placarding System for Restaurants

San Mateo County will be rolling out a food placarding system beginning January 1, 2016

San Mateo County will be rolling out a food placarding system beginning January 1, 2016

San Mateo County diners will soon have a quick and easy way to see if their favorite eateries are complying with County food safety regulations.

Starting January 2016, San Mateo County will join other counties throughout the Bay Area and northern California in using the colored-coded placarding system. The system consists of using green (pass), yellow (conditional pass) and red (closure) placards to determine a facility’s food safety status. They will be displayed and clearly visible for the public to see how a restaurant has scored on their food safety inspection, often placed in a window at eye level.

The statuses of the placards are based on critical risk factors from the Centers for Disease Control. The risk factors are the most common causes of foodborne illness. They are: food from unsafe sources, inadequate cooking, improper holding temperature, contaminated equipment, and poor personal hygiene.

The new-color coded placards will be required at about 3,000 permanent food facilities in the County, including restaurants, bakeries, schools, licensed health care facilities, and some convenience stores.

What do the colors mean?

Green means good to go. The restaurant or food facility has no more than one major violation, which must be corrected during the inspection.

Yellow means caution. The restaurant or food facility has two or more major violations and will be -inspected again within 3 business days.

Red means stop. The restaurant or food facility is closed because of violations that are a danger to the public’s health and safety. The restaurant needs more training and education and the restaurant remains closed until the unsafe conditions are corrected.

For more information about this program, go to our website.

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