A surprising number of Boston's high-end dining rooms -- including such noted venues as the Harvard Club on Commonwealth Avenue -- have been cited for serious health code violations of the sort that can cause food poisoning, according to a Globe review of city inspection reports for 2004, 2005, and 2006. Nearly half of the 50 restaurants whose records were examined had been flagged for major -- and sometimes chronic -- violations....
The inspectors demand that such practices cease immediately, and most of the time, compliance is swift. The city, however, keeps these findings out of the reach of consumers, despite a pledge seven years ago by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to make the information easily accessible. When the Globe asked for inspection reports on 47 restaurants, the Inspectional Services Department refused to fulfill the request unless the newspaper paid $2,039 in advance.
And my favorite part?
A Globe reporter signed up for the nationally accredited certification exam and passed it easily -- without attending a class or reviewing any of the reading material. The reporter, Jennifer Nelson, is deemed qualified to oversee food safety precautions in any restaurant. The credential would also allow her to become a municipal restaurant inspector.
There's a lot of information available, to be sure to check it out if you eat out in Boston.
PS: I think this blog calls for a new tag - real news. The Boston Globe should try it out more often.