Tennessee restaurants are required to be inspected twice per year and the results of these inspections are to be posted in a conspicuous place in the restaurant (they can usually be found by the front door). The problem is, you usually don't see the scores until you are already at the restaurant. Even then, you may or may not think to check out the report.
Fortunately, the Tennessee Department of Health maintains a searchable database of every single restaurant in Tennessee. You can search by restaurant name or city and view the results of the restaurant's last several inspections, including a listing of all the violations reported. It is worth noting that the nature of the violations can vary widely and not all violations are specifically food related.
You can also keep up with the latest restaurant scores that are reported each Thursday evening on
Action News 5 at 10:00 p.m.
If you are curious to know exactly what these restaurant inspections entail, you can download a copy of the official Tennessee restaurant inspection report from the state of Tennessee's website.
Looking for restaurant scores outside of Tennessee? The Mississippi State Department of Health also maintains a database of restaurant scores that is searchable by restaurant name or city. As of this writing, the state of Arkansas does not offer such a service.
In addition to restaurants, the Shelby County Health Department also inspects food services provided by retail food stores, day care centers, caterers, and food vendors. The department is responsible for investigating food-borne illness complaints and outbreaks, as well as complaints and violation reports from the public. If you wish to make a complaint about a restaurant or other food service provider, call: (901) 222-9213.
You can also help your fellow diners by rating your experiences at restaurants all over town. If there is a local restaurant that you love (or hate), tell us about it by filling out this form. Most user-submitted reviews will be posted on the About Memphis site within 48 hours and I will email you a link to your review when it is posted.