CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new food inspection rating system is now in full effect.
On Friday, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department kicked off its new rating system with the inspection of a Charleston restaurant.
Ratings will now be in colors and as words like "excellent" or "fair." Before the new system, ratings were grades.
Restaurants must now post inspection reports near the front entrance so the public can easily see.
Friday, inspectors checked refrigerators, under sinks, in restrooms and the dates of food in the restaurant.
"Well going from the old system to the new system, this will bring about public awareness," said Nasandra Wright with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. "This will help our residents make more informed choices as to where they eat."
The Wheelhouse restaurant along Bridge Road was the first to experience the new ratings.
"I'm excited," Wheelhouse owner Tina Vanbibber said. "We work very hard here to do what we do here and keep everything clean."
Wheelhouse received an excellent rating Friday.
"I'm proud of us, all of us, the whole Wheelhouse crew," Vanbibber said.
Starting Feb. 7, ratings will be available online.
Wright said the new round of investigations could take as long as a year. Since inspections are completely random, though, restaurant owners are told to be prepared.
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