LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Drive-thru and take-out will be the name of the restaurant game for awhile, so that also changes the game for health inspections.
13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears asked what the Health District is doing differently to keep us safe when dining out.
First and foremost, the Health District wants to let people know that there is currently no evidence that either food or food packaging has been associated with the transmission of COVID-19.
It's primarily transmitted from person to person and that is why you're going to see so many restaurants right now changing the way they do business.
At restaurants like In-N-Out Burger and Raising Cane’s, the drive-through business is booming with lines stretching around the corner and backing up into the shopping center parking lot at Sahara and Hualapai.
They’re open, but with a caveat. You can walk in to pick up your food, but then you’ve got to walk back out.
Though restaurants haven’t been ordered to close, they’ve been asked to restrict public access. During this time, health inspectors will continue to check restaurant kitchens to ensure the community’s food supply chain is safe.
The district will prioritize inspections at places doing take-out and drive-through.
Restaurants are required to post their grade card where you can see it when you walk in, but obviously if you're driving through, you're not walking in so you won't know what a restaurant's current grade is... Unless, before you go, you go to the Health District’s website and look them up or check it on the Health District's mobile app, which is called Restaurant Grades Southern Nevada.
And although that reassurance is still there, something else is on hold.
The Food Handler Safety Training Card Program is suspended until May 1. That program ensures those working in restaurant kitchens have the proper safety knowledge.
During the suspension, food handlers don’t have to have their cards with them and new employees or those needing to renew their cards will be allowed to temporarily work without cards.
There is perhaps no starker a reminder of what we're dealing with than caution tape roping off restaurant tables, which we saw at the In-N-Out Burger outdoor seating area.
But the Health District says if restaurants just follow the existing good sanitation and food safety practices, they'll be doing the best that they can to protect the dining public.
Click here to read SNHD's COVID-19 guidance for food establishments.