Food inspectors helping local restaurants handle food properly

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RENO, NV (KOLO) -- For some in our area, eating out is a regular routine. Chef Geoffrey Caliger, from Liberty Food and Wine Exchange, says the inspections done by Washoe County Health District sets the guidelines for him and his team to follow.

As you are taking that bite of the pizza or indulging in your plate of rigatoni, those who go to restaurants in Northern Nevada can enjoy their food peacefully, knowing the food on their plate was handled properly.

"I think it is incredibly important. I am into health and wellness and i think that is an important aspect of my life and knowing what I am consuming is healthy, not contaminated with any microorganisms that is very important."

Washoe County Environmental Health specialist, Michael Touhey says he inspects nearly 400 facilities a year.
As soon as he walks in-- he's watching the flow of food-- from the moment they take out of the refrigerator to when it arrives to your table.

"We want to be educational, we want to teach people about the rules and regulations too.”

Inspectors grade based off of a color coded system. A good restaurant is graded green, one with minor violations will get a yellow, and serious violations will result in red, closing the location shortly after.
Liberty food and wine exchange executive chef Geoffrey Caliger says these inspections are vital to their operations.

"what we do here is quality in food, and the reason that liberty food and wine exchange has the reputation that it does, is because of the integrity in the food that we take and if that integrity isn’t being upheld by the city and the health department around us then who is to say what any other chef would do, it is certainly not who I am."

Touhey says the largest issues include cold holding temperatures, proper cooking temperatures, and believe it or not, hand washing.
Caliger says his downtown Reno team checks the cooking line twice a day, focusing on temperatures and proper food handling.

“Being a line cook or being a server, is not just making money or serving hot food. Being a great server or line cook, means you are taking into account everything that runs a very successful restaurant."

Experts say the majority of restaurants in Washoe County do an exceptional job of following the proper health guidelines.

This spring, the county launched WashoeEats. A free mobile app that allows you to review restaurant inspection results. It's available on apple and android devices.

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