The new series Health Inspectors premiered on October 26, 2012. The premise of the show is that of restaurants and cafes that are struggling with safety issues, and they are afraid that they will not pass upcoming inspections from the Health Department. Not passing these inspections could shut down their business and cause financial ruin. The inspections cover not only food safety, but other issues such as equipment working properly and sanitary employee conditions. This is a great opportunity to have a look at what really goes on behind the scenes in restaurants.
The show is hosted by Ben Vaughn, who is a chef and restaurant consultant. Based in Atlanta, he’s very experienced in the restaurant business, having been an Executive Chef for White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails, and Max Lager’s. He promises that this show is not scripted, but is about real businesses with real issues. He doesn’t believe in shaming people or yelling at them like some other stars of this type, but instead, helping them to dig out of their problems by teaching them the right way to do things. He says that he isn’t on anyone’s side. He is not trying to outsmart the inspectors, but instead, is just trying to instruct the restaurant owners about good business practices. There some real gross-out moments along the way, so be prepared for that.
On the premiere episode, called “Rats In the Cellar”, Ben travels to Chicago to help out a restaurant called Salud that has an upcoming inspection that they must pass. After the owner discloses to Ben that her friends became sick after eating there, they need to find the reason for the food poisoning. He doesn’t have to look far. After a careful inspection of the kitchen, there is: a hand sink that no one can get to (which means the employees are not washing their hands), several issues with food temperatures being kept correct so bacteria couldn’t grow, and most shockingly, tortilla chips being kept, uncovered in the dark, damp cellar that is infested with rats, as well as having a sewage problem. In the end, Ben is able to get the restaurant cleaned up and they pass inspection.