Food Poisoning: We’re #3!

Minnesota is the third-most dangerous state for dining out, according to a study relying upon 2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control. Fortunately, we don’t need to hear about it too often; Minnesota restaurant inspection reports aren’t available online here. [Via the Mpls. St. Paul Business Journal]


  1. Bill Roehl

    While I was told by the MDH supervisor that it’s just too difficult and expensive to get a database of the reports online, I have been requesting, and publishing, South Metro restaurant inspection reports. While it’s a tedious process (sometimes requiring weeks of waiting) it is possible to get the information and show it for everyone.

    I have finished part 1 of my three part South Metro series. I am currently waiting on Burnsville’s reports (original request went out on 3/3 and I sent a reminder yesterday but still haven’t heard anything from the inspector in charge of that section of town) and then I’ll post two and three.

  2. Mag

    One thing I wonder about is if the likelihood of issues being reported drives the data collected. Is it that Minnesota restaurateurs are less careful than 47 other states (I think not) or that Minnesotans are more inclined to report an issue or that inspections happen with greater frequency or are more thorough.

  3. Bill Roehl

    From my limited exposure to the reports, it appears that the only time “frequent” (more than ~one a year) inspections occur is when a violation occurs and the inspector goes back to see if they made the changes.

    In the link I provided above check out World Buffet in Apple Valley. They were visited three times in a very short time frame because of repeat violations.

    I have a serious problem with the lack of information available to the public regarding inspections. A friend of mine lives in Charleston, SC and let me know that there are large colored placards on all restaurants that show their inspection grade (A, B, and C). Why can’t Minnesota do that?

  4. James Norton

    It surprises me, too — Minnesota is a state that, in many ways, does a good job of making the apparatus of government transparent and accountable. The lack of online inspection reports seems like an anomaly. Mag, to address your point — I think the data was based on actual people getting sick (per capita), not merely complaints.

  5. Mark Gisleson

    I suspect geography is the sticking point here. What do you want to bet that the highest rates of food poisoning are from our more conservatively helmed cities? Minneapolis’s restaurant inspectors are nothing if not excessive in their zeal for enforcement. You can’t even store canned goods on wooden shelves in Minneapolis — everything must be stainless steel!

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