New voluntary health inspection placard project kicks off in January

Dec 21, 2023

Dec. 21, 2023. Reno/Sparks, Nev. – Northern Nevada Public Health, formerly the Washoe County Health District, will be launching a voluntary pilot placard program for all facilities with health permits beginning Jan. 2, 2024. This includes full-service restaurants, grocery stores, bars and manufacturers.

Existing inspection data can be readily found on NNPH’s Washoe Eats mobile app. This placarding pilot provides another avenue for the community to find health inspection information.

The program will give establishments a placard with a grade during their next routine health inspection. Participating establishments can then post these placards near the entrance or point-of-sale, giving consumers more transparency when shopping or eating.

Placards will be colored according to the score received during the most recent health inspection:


Scores are determined by the number of critical food safety risk factor violations observed during the inspection. In addition, placards will also display critical risk factor violations observed by the environmental health specialist conducting the inspection.

In addition to informing the public about inspection scores, placards have also been shown to improve overall food safety in facilities. Studies show that in jurisdictions that have recently implemented placarding programs, the number of outbreaks and reported foodborne illnesses cases have markedly decreased. Hospitalizations from foodborne illnesses decreased by 13% in Los Angeles, salmonella cases decreased by 5.3% in New York City, and foodborne illness cases decreased by 30% in Toronto following the implementation of placarding in each respective location.

NNPH is excited to provide easier access to health inspection information and believes this project will help consumers feel confident and safe in their dining and shopping choices, provide easier access to health inspection information, and reward facilities for their hard work in maintaining a culture of food safety.

During this pilot project, beginning Jan. 2, 2024, NNPH encourages the community and permit holders to provide feedback. Anyone interested in providing feedback can do so with this online, anonymous survey.

Please note the Washoe County Health District changed its name to Northern Nevada Public Health on Aug. 31, 2023. More information is here.

Northern Nevada Public Health (NNPH) is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making District Board of Health. NNPH consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.