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January 18, 2011

Does Your Kitchen Make the Grade?

Friends say you cook like a top chef. Now find out whether your home kitchen earns an “A” for restaurant-level cleanliness standards, too.

Using the A, B, C grading system similar to the one posted in restaurant windows, the county’s Department of Public Health lets you take an online “Home Kitchen Self-Inspection” and then scores the test to show where your kitchen’s standards are high—or not.

After submitting the test, you’ll get a letter and number grade, along with suggestions on how to correct any “violations.”

The test is intended to increase your understanding of day to day food safety issues, especially areas you may have long overlooked.

The 44 mostly yes-or-no questions range from super-basic (“My refrigerator is working properly”) to the tougher (“I wash and sanitize my sponge daily and replace it routinely when soiled.”)  The test questions aren’t exactly the ones food inspectors use to grade restaurants, but they are adapted from the same state Health and Safety Code regulations.

Before the quiz, you’re required to answer several personal questions, such as your city, age range and gender. You’re also asked a series of questions that the department’s director, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, says are designed to “help us enhance our domestic food safety outreach efforts.”

If you score 90 percent or better, the public health department will mail you an “A” grade inspection card to display proudly in your kitchen.

And, in case you don’t feel like cooking tonight, here’s the department’s grading list for retail establishments.

Mailing address:
16911 San Fernando Mission Blvd, PMB 137
Granada Hills, CA 91344-4250
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