Inspector Reflector: Local restaurant health inspection scores for the month of January

Brett Daniel

This is the first installment of Inspector Reflector, a monthly report on environmental health inspection scores for Statesboro restaurants. Check back at the end of every month for updated scores.

Inspector Reflector: Introduction

The Inspector Reflector series hopes to keep Georgia Southern University students and Statesboro residents informed about the cleanliness of local food service establishments.

Food safety and restaurant cleanliness are part of what makes a dining experience so enjoyable. Patrons walk into every restaurant and food service establishment trusting that the local health department has thoroughly inspected the place for violations prior to their visit.

In Statesboro, thorough environmental health inspections seem to be customary. For the month of January, 95 percent of Statesboro restaurants received a score of 90 or higher. This statistic doesn’t include all Statesboro restaurants, however, only the 63 restaurants inspected in January. The local health department is required to inspect every restaurant in the city at least twice per year, so expect more restaurants and their scores to be listed in Inspector Reflector in the coming months.


Health inspectors assess multiple criteria when conducting a routine restaurant inspection. Examples include:

  • Employees keeping their nails trimmed, hair restrained and hands clean
  • Employees covering all personal beverages kept in the kitchen
  • Keeping hand sinks accessible and unblocked at all times
  • Keeping the kitchen free of moldy food, flies, rodents and roaches
  • Labeling and storing food containers properly
  • Maintaining certain storage temperatures for both hot and cold foods

A summarized list of violations that inspectors often keep an eye out for can be found here. A complete report on Georgia’s food service rules and regulations can be found here.

Foodborne Illness

Heather Peebles, district program manager and telehealth coordinator for the Southeast Health District, says the primary concern for health inspectors is foodborne illness. Depending on the type, foodborne illness can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms following consumption, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. Foodborne illness may also result in death.

Examples of foodborne illness include salmonella, norovirus and Staphylococcus aureus. These microbes are often transferred to kitchen surfaces, utensils and food via cross-contamination, or the passing of microbes from one object, person or place to another.

Assessing Violations

Despite the effect that a low health inspection score may have on a customer’s appetite, Peebles says that customers should look beyond the score as well. More important to consider, she says, are the violations themselves.

“There are many situations where I would, personally, eat at an establishment that had a worse score than another establishment,” Peebles said. “My concerns would not be the number score but instead what violations were observed during the inspection process.”

In Bulloch County, if a food service establishment scores lower than a “B,” the health department must reinspect the facility again within 10 days. Violations that could lead to foodborne illness, however, must be corrected on site.

Scores for Statesboro, Georgia (January 2019)

Highest Scores:

  • Ole Times Country Buffet – 100
  • Ogeechee Technical College Natural Resources Building – 100
  • Parkwood Food Service – 100
  • Taco Bell – 99
  • The Lodge at Bethany – 99
  • Cattails Cafe (Ogeechee Tech) – 99
  • Chick-Fil-A (Northside) – 99
  • La Berry Frozen Yogurt – 98
  • Ruby Tuesday – 98
  • Orchid – 97
  • Seasons of Japan – 97
  • Marriott Springhill Suites – 97
  • Panda Express – 97
  • Nonna Picci Pizza – 97
  • Sonic Drive-In – 97

Lowest Scores:

  • Vera’s Kitchen and Catering – 87
  • Daylight Donuts – 83
  • Bulloch County Correctional Complex – 81

Complete List (Highest to Lowest):

Ogeechee Tech. Natural Rsrcs. Building 100
Ole Times Country Buffet 100
Parkwood Food Service 100
Cattails Café (Ogeechee Tech) 99
Chick-Fil-A (Northside) 99
Taco Bell 99
The Lodge at Bethany 99
La Berry Frozen Yogurt 98
Ruby Tuesday 98
Marriott Springhill Suites 97
Nonna Picci Pizza 97
Orchid 97
Panda Express 97
Seasons of Japan 97
Sonic Drive-In 97
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream / Nathan’s 96
Buffalo Wild Wings 96
Cool Beanz Espresso Bar 96
Dunkin’ Donuts / Baskin’ Robbins 96
Heavenly Ham 96
Locos Grill & Pub 96
McDonald’s (Northside) 96
Pineland Bulloch Adult Day Services 96
Ralph’s Diner 96
Smoothie King 96
Southern Manor Retirement Inn 96
Starbucks (Northside) 96
Subway 11391 96
Subway 28656 96
Beaver House 95
Brown’s Health & Rehab Center 95
Pizza Hut 95
Statesboro Millhouse 95
Eagle Creek Brewing Company 94
Heritage Inn & Rehabilitation 94
New Tokyo Japanese Restaurant 94
Rebecca’s Café 94
Shuckin’ Shack 94
Sonic Drive-In at Buckhead 94
The Clubhouse Family Entertainment 94
Dairy Queen 93
Elliano’s Coffee Company 93
Mellow Mushroom 93
Captain D’s 92
El Rinconcito 92
Ocean Galley Seafood 92
Son’s Doner Kebab 92
Steak n’ Shake 92
LongHorn Steakhouse 92
168 Chinese Kitchen 91
Baja Boro 91
Barberitos 91
Brunner Burritos 91
Chili’s 91
Cookout 91
McDonald’s (Archway Drive) 91
Southern Billiards & Burgers/Cowboys 91
Subway 18965 91
Three Tree Coffee LLC 91
SoYumi 90
Vera’s Kitchen and Catering 87
Daylight Donuts 83
Bulloch County Correctional Complex 81

View the complete detailed list of violations for each restaurant here.