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Restaurant Rankings: How Clean is Your Favorite Food Joint?

New Lenox Patch acquired health inspections for every restaurant in town; some of the results might surprise you. Today, we highlight the sanitation score for every food service business in town.

Editor's note (Sept. 29, 2011): It's , a time to promote local eateries and find good discounted meals. But it's also important to see where your favorites rank in terms of county sanitation scores.

Every day this week, we'll re-publish an article from this series, which originally ran in August, and on Friday we'll provide some feedback we got from readers and business owners.

Original article published Aug. 12, 2011

Although readers found some local restaurants' sanitation scores "disgusting," New Lenox eateries by and large performed well on their health inspections.

New Lenox Patch obtained Will County Health Department inspection reports for every restaurant within village limits through a Freedom of Information request. Of the 80 locations ranked, 48 scored a 90 or higher and all but eight scored 80 or higher.

Restaurants and other places that serve food, including grocery stores, gas stations and concession stands, start with 100 points and are marked off for various sanitation violations, such as storing food improperly or having dirty kitchens.

Previous coverage: On Wednesday, we highlighted the , topped by Starbucks and Subway. On Thursday, we gathered the , a list that included some local favorites. Only Little Joe's and Gatto's scored below 70 on the original sanitation score.

Scoring: Restaurants that scored poorly were often marked down for more severe infractions, including storing raw meat above cooked food or at high temperatures, or failing to wash hands before handling food. Others were marked down fewer points for having minor upkeep issues, such as improper lighting or holes in walls.

The categories for infractions include food; food protection; personnel; food equipment/utensils; water; sewage; plumbing, toilet and handwashing facilities; garbage disposal; insect/animal control; floors, walls and ceilings; lighting; ventilation; dressing rooms; and other operations.

More information: If you have questions about the scores or about a specific restaurant, email Editor Michael Sewall at michael.sewall@patch.com. Click on the business' names below for more information or go to the Patch Places business directory.

Business Address Inspection Date Score* Corrected Score** DD Pig Roast 280 E. Haven 8/2/2011 100 n/a 1009 Laraway
7/14/2011
100 n/a Not Just Cakes 280 E. Haven 2/15/2011 100 n/a 1029 S. Cedar 7/8/2011 100 n/a 2550 E. Lincoln
5/24/2011 100 n/a 334 W. Maple
6/23/2011 100 n/a 501 E. Lincoln
6/1/2011 99 n/a Jewel Express 471 Nelson 3/16/2011 99 n/a  1023 S. Cedar 7/8/2011 99 n/a  1025 S. Cedar 7/8/2011 99 n/a 2021 Laraway 4/25/2011 98 n/a 2334 E. Lincoln
2/17/2011 98 n/a 2417 E. Joliet 7/7/2011 98 n/a Speedway 570 Laraway 6/16/2011 98 n/a 1101 Laraway 7/26/2011 97 n/a 1080 E. Lincoln 5/17/2011 97 n/a 2390 E. Lincoln 6/7/2011 97 n/a 420 W. Maple 1/6/2011 97 n/a 13917 Illinois 6/22/2011 96 n/a 340 W. Maple 6/28/2011 96 n/a 301 W. Maple 1/19/2011 96 n/a Walker Country Estates concession stand
401 Lenox 6/2/2011 96 n/a 720 W. Maple 3/28/2011 95 n/a 838 Laraway 7/28/2011 95 n/a 323 Old Hickory 2/8/2011 95 n/a 918 Timber 7/8/2011 94 n/a
475 Nelson 4/19/2011 94 n/a 100 E. Maple 7/8/2011 94 99 120 Veterans Pkwy 6/9/2010 94 n/a 2430 E. Lincoln 4/4/2011 94 n/a
1320 W. Maple 7/27/2011 93 n/a
2021 Calistoga 7/8/2011 93 n/a Pizza King
123 W. Maple 12/30/2010 93 n/a
1259 N. Cedar 3/25/2011 93 98 501 E. Lincoln 2/15/2011 93 n/a 1880 E. Lincoln 5/26/2011 93 n/a
13150 Lincoln 2/10/2011 92 97 401 E. Lincoln 3/7/2011 92 n/a
826 Laraway 6/6/2011 91 96
1840 Lincoln 7/8/2011 91 n/a  1027 S. Cedar 7/8/2011 91 95
342 W. Maple 4/18/2011 90 92
318 W. Maple 7/18/2011 90 94 108 E. Illinois 7/26/2011 90 99 600 W. Maple 3/5/2011 90 n/a 1930 E. Lincoln 2/16/2011 90 n/a Quizno's (now closed) 1872 Lincoln 2/10/2011 90 n/a
348 W. Maple 4/18/2011 90 92 485 Marley 5/23/2011 89 99 1031 S. Cedar 7/8/2011 89 95 14414 W. Ford 5/11/2011 87 92
2151 Laraway 5/2/2011 87 91 Speedway
939 S. Cedar 6/16/2011 87 n/a 2370 E. Lincoln 2/17/2011 87 99
2001 Calistoga 7/19/2011 86 93 280 E. Haven 8/2/2011 85 95
21950 Howell 7/18/2011 85 98 421 E. Lincoln 3/10/2011 85 90
901 E. Lincoln 4/19/2011 84 93 426 E. Lincoln 4/12/2011 84 94 335 W. Maple 3/8/2011 84 94
100 Illinois 7/26/2011 83 97
201 E. Maple 4/4/2011 83 88
495 Degroate 6/6/2011 83 91
2141 Calistoga 7/18/2011 82 92
402 Nelson 7/21/2011 82 91
320 W. Maple 6/2/2011 81 n/a 336 W. Maple 5/18/2011 81 90 830 Laraway 6/2/2011 81 90
101 Lincoln
6/27/2011
80
93

280 E. Haven
4/28/2011
80
85

348 W. Maple
6/2/2011
79
89

400 W. Maple
4/27/2011
76
91
1490 W. Maple
6/20/2011
76
89
2387 Joliet
5/13/2011
76
84

2101 Calistoga
5/26/2011
74
88

700 W. Maple
6/7/2011
73
83

1938 E. Lincoln
6/27/2011
66
89

1300 N. Cedar
4/19/2011
63
90

*Please note that not all inspections yield a sanitation score. The date listed indicates the most recent inspection, and the score listed indicates the most recent sanitation score, even if it came from an earlier inspection.

**After initial inspections, restaurants are given a period of time to correct their demerits on a given inspection. In most cases, the initial score is improved upon because restaurants clean a shelf, throw away old food, etc.

N Yan August 12, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Okay, I almost wish this wasn't published.
patricia counter August 12, 2011 at 07:25 PM
This article was extremely disturbing! My husband's favorite restaurant is Little Joe's. We eat there at least once a week and to find out it got such a low score is making me sick to my stomach. I will be checking into this myself before I eat there again!
lady di August 13, 2011 at 05:10 AM
my family just ate at beggars pizza tonight, yikes!!!!!!!!
Jill August 15, 2011 at 01:29 PM
inspections by the health dept. are done annually,and again if corrections need to be done. A restaurant has their copy of this inspection so they do know when an inspection is due. Some county health inspections are better than others. Compair the number of inspectors VS how large the county is and how many facilties they have to inspect. Cook has more inspectors than Will, but they also have more restaurants. I would also think that county funds would contribute to how many sanitation inspectors an area has. You have to judge the place you eat at, if a place can't keep their dining area or washrooms clean, what do you think the kitchen looks like. What about the employee who wipes the tables... ever see them wipe a table, then the seats, then the next table and never switch clothes or even rinse the cloth out... talk about cross contamination. YUK.
Eric C (Chicago Dough Co) August 17, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Will County actually inspects every three months. They are required to make the four inspections per year. Three of the inspections are scored and one is a HACCP Review.
Jill August 18, 2011 at 10:43 PM
To Eric, If that is true that will county inspects a restaurant every three months, what does that say for all the low scores? If a restaurant can't stay on top of things for 12 weeks, well maybe they shouldn't be open. JMO.
maargo boomsma September 01, 2011 at 05:39 PM
i'd like to see inspection results for other restaurants in surrounding commmunities such as Mokena, Frankfort, etc. Many of New Lenox residents frequent restaurants outside village limits.

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