Health Scores throughout Athens Restaurants


Reactions were mixed from managers, customers, and employees to the recent Clarke County Health inspection ratings by the Northeast Health District.

This month the Northeast Health District released scores to many restaurants and among them were Butt Hutt with a score of 82, which violated the proper cooling time and temperature, Cookout with a score of 92 with no critical violations, and Popeye’s S.N. S. Food with a score of 92 with no critical violations.

A manager from Iron Factory (who scored an 81) did not allow us to film or do on-camera interviews, but he did tell us that the ratings were “bull****” and that it did not represent the food there.

One way restaurants are able to improve scores is by getting certified in online training programs. Jessica Lamay works at Ben and Jerry’s and attributes their high score of 98 to the ServSafe certification program. ServSafe is a nine-hour course taught by a former health inspector. Ben and Jerry’s managers and at least 5 employees are trained in this course in order to prepare them on how to serve and store cold foods. ServSafe courses and certification programs can be purchased by any restaurant and can be conducted online at

Several UGA dining halls continue to enjoy high health ratings. The big student dining halls like Bolton and O-House scored in the mid- to high- 90s on their latest inspections. None of the dining halls or cafe’s, like the Tate Café and Red Clay Café, were cited for major violations.

The recent health inspections are important to restaurant managers, but do customers pay attention to a restaurant’s health rating before choosing to dine there? Athens resident Connor Jones says that he does pay attention to health scores before eating at new restaurant downtown. Jones says he thinks Athens restaurants can do better.

“I feel like they should be higher if that’s their job is running a business, and even getting a B, you feel like you should be getting an A at your establishments and definitely not a C. I can’t get a C and expect my parents to want to support that.”

Brandt Akin is a friend of Jones and says that ratings are not as important to him.

“ I don’t even look for the sign, but if I saw it and it was failing then I might leave.”


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