LITTLE ROCK – Friday the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) hosted a media briefing and training to support the launch of the Arkansas Food Inspection Portal.

This portal contains electronic copies of retail food inspection reports. To access the portal visit the food protection page on the ADH website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov.

The ADH Environmental Health Branch includes a Food Protection Program that regulates the sale of food for human consumption to ensure safety. There are around 15,000 retail food establishments that are regulated under this program including, but not limited to, restaurants, bars, daycares, schools, grocery stores, convenience stores, delis, bakeries, hotels/motels, mobile units, and concession stands.

The ADH Retail Food Establishment Program consists of plan reviews, pre-opening inspections, permits, routine and follow-up inspections, investigation of complaints, and education of food service workers to promote safe food handling practices. The retail food establishment program also recommends enforcement action based on recorded reports.

Inspection reports can be accessed by searching for food service establishments by name, key words, city, zip code, or region. These reports are categorized by type — pre-opening, routine, follow-up, complaint, or investigative inspection. Food service establishments are not graded with a pass or fail score or letter grade; instead, they are noted as either in or out of compliance with the Arkansas State Board of Health Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Food Establishments. The regulations are written to ensure food is prepared, stored, and served safely, which in turn may prevent foodborne illness.

For more information visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov. If there is concern pertaining to a retail food establishment, complaints can be made online or by calling the Environmental Health Specialist at your Local Health Unit. Contact information for Local Health Units can be found on the ADH website.