Restaurant signs could encourage cleanliness, safety

Restaurant signs could encourage cleanliness, safety

CHAMPAIGN -- A requirement for area restaurants may be expanding across Champaign County.
CHAMPAIGN -- A requirement for area restaurants may be expanding across Champaign County. Last year, the county board voted against making owners put up public health inspection placards, but it may come up again.

Board members are learning new information at their meeting Thursday night. A survey showed restaurants which put up those placards voluntarily did better on inspections than those which didn't.

Right now, restaurants in Champaign and Urbana have to put them up. But elsewhere around Champaign County, it's optional and about half do. Some restaurant owners say they didn't think it made a difference one way or the other. Molly Otto, who is the front house manager at Big Grove Tavern, says its standard would already be high even if they didn't have to post health inspection reports.

"We strive to provide the best service, product and ambiance and atmosphere," said Otto.

Champaign County board president Al Kurtz says now that there's solid evidence having those signs up increases the chance of a clean, safe environment, he thinks it could get put back on the agenda as soon as next month.
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