A Frisco Man Built an App That Gathers and Shares Restaurant Health-Inspection Scores

Categories: Food News

FoodFumble.JPG
A new app lets you view restaurant offers health inspection scores for restaurants.
Do health scores matter to you when you're making a dining decision? Maybe if they were easier to find they would. While restaurants in other cities, including New York and L.A., are required to display their scores prominently outside the building, the restaurants in and around Dallas have much more relaxed reporting requirements.

That's one of the reasons Frisco resident Noel Geren is betting that smartphone users will appreciate easier access to these scores. His new app, FoodFumble, makes restaurant health inspection scores available to anyone with an iPhone (and soon Android phones, too). The app displays scores of various formats (some cities use numbers, others letters) and converts them to simple plate icons that are easy to understand.

There are a few caveats, though.

For one, Geren has only set up his app to pull scores from databases in Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Richardson, Carrollton, Irving and Grayson County. Geren says he's working to add new cities every day, but each city makes the restaurant data available in slightly different ways. Dallas should be available on his app soon, but has a notoriously awful database that's hard to search. Addison doesn't make that data available at all.

Geren isn't the first person with the idea to improve access to these scores. Yelp made news when they offered health inspection scores of restaurants in San Francisco earlier this year. At that time the online review site promised New York City and Philadelphia would be the next two cities, but it looks like they've only managed to provide the data for restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky so far.

While some diners may have no interest in a restaurant's health inspection score, there are certainly some diners who would make decisions based on the information, and accessibility is being pushed as a health concern. A 2005 study demonstrated a 13 percent decrease in food-borne illness after L.A. forced its restaurateurs to prominently display their scores. It makes you wonder why cities like Addison wouldn't do everything they can to make that data as available to as many people as possible.


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7 comments
jkrys
jkrys

Sharon..who goes to their cell phone's browser to search for that link then to find a restaurant..takes forever. Why not just have an app..put the name in and bam get the results you need? It looks like it's quick and easy.

lebowski300
lebowski300

On one hand, I think transparency and making use of the money we spend as taxpayers on this government function more accessible is great. On the other hand, without context or specifics it can be misinformation of sorts. Also the more vital the ease of access becomes to this information the less honest and constructive it will be, becoming just another arrow in the government bureaucrat's quiver to use against honest businesses.

capitalg_od
capitalg_od

Most people dont care what they put in their bodies. Thats why the US is the leading country of GMO poison, fluoridated water, and all manner of toxic chemicals. 

"In point of factfluoride causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster than any other chemical."--Dean Burk, 34 years at the Nation Cancer Institute

But dont try telling that to people, the chemicals have already done their job. That's why no one cares. Nazi eugenics for all! Depopulation of the useless eaters! And everyone loves it!



G_David
G_David

Personally, I've never really cared about inspection scores.  I do a lot of cooking, and if the health department dropped into my kitchen at any given time I'd probably fail miserably.  Yet somehow I've never in my life had food poisoning.  If an app like this had a breakdown of specific violations that lower the scores I might be interested. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 Because a much higher percentage of Addison's tax revenue comes from entertainment venues, so they draw a lot of water, and don't want the numbers out there.

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