Health Inspector Reveals How to Tell Which U.S. Restaurants to Avoid

An Australian health inspector has shared exactly how to check how sanitary your local take-out place is, and it could save you an upset stomach.

A woman, posting under the name SemyKitten on TikTok and reportedly a health inspector, has been sharing a series of videos for prospective customers worried about hygiene ratings.

SemyKitten initially shared a video for the residents of Down Under in June, but after it blew up on the site, amassing nearly 4 million views, she shared another clip for Americans.

In her initial post, she explained more about her job, saying: "So I'm a health inspector, I inspect every single place that sells foods from supermarkets to food trucks. When one of these shops fails I issue them a penalty notice."

In her clip geared towards Americans, uploaded last week, she said: "People from the U.S., please listen up. If this triggers any bowels you've probably watched my video that was me talking about a database that lists businesses that got penalized for not complying with food safety laws.

"Unfortunately that video was only for Australians, but this one is for Americans."

She uses a green screen behind her to bring up various websites for different states, as she explains: "So I did my research, according to your government you guys have access to every food inspection that has been done.

"From what I understand, the penalties are also attached to the inspection reports. So what you need to Google is Food Inspection Reports, and add your county.

"Example one this is for New York City, this one is for King County, this is for Tallahassee and this one is for Houston. Once you click food inspection search you'll get something like this."

A quick look on Health.Data.Ny.Gov, for the state of New York—excluding New York City, Suffolk County and Erie County—shows 22,207 health violations, with the map last updated on June 5.

Explaining the figures, the website said: "The point map shows violations found during the last inspection of the food service establishments. The initial view of the map is broken up into large geographic areas and displays the number of violations in each area. Last inspection data is the most recently submitted and available data.

"Although violation details are collected on inspection reports (i.e., the actual food item, quantity and temperature of food found out of temperature control) as well as corrective actions for critical violations, this data set is limited to the violation number and the corresponding general violation description.

"Inspections are a snapshot in time and are not always reflective of the day-to-day operations and overall condition of an establishment. This map is currently updated monthly. Occasionally, remediation may not appear until the following month due to the timing of the updates."

While most of the inspections are relatively recent, i.e. were undertaken in the past three years, some date back to 2015 or 2009.

The video has amassed thousands of views as people thank her for sharing her knowledge, while some requested she share a tutorial for Canadians.

LiovelyCarol wrote: "Thank you very much I truly appreciate it."

BB joked: "Meanwhile in the U.S. people are like, one time I found a dead body in the blobby, the fries were good though."

While CR wrote; "I'm a health inspector in the U.S.! Thank you for doing all of your hard work. It's not an easy job as we both know, love from Georgia."

Newsweek reached out to SemyKitten for a comment.

File photo of a woman eating pasta.
A file photo of a woman eating pasta while looking at her phone. A health inspector has revealed how to check which restaurant to avoid across the U.S. nicoletaionescu/Getty Images