Evanston restaurant health inspection scores now available via text

Tori Latham, City Editor

People can now have health inspection scores for Evanston restaurants sent to them via text message, the city announced Thursday.

Residents and visitors can view publicly available restaurant health inspection scores by texting the word “restaurant” to the city’s 311 Service Center. After a few seconds, the sender will receive a reply asking them to input the name of the restaurant they want to search for and then receive another message that includes the inspection score.

“We are thrilled to provide Evanston diners with yet another resource for accessing the City’s restaurant health inspection information,” Jose Calderon, the city’s information technology division manager, said in a news release. “We continue our efforts to make our data available on multiple platforms in real time so that all residents have access and can make the most informed decisions.”

The program is part of Evanston’s commitment to making the government more open and transparent, the city said. Earlier this year, the city created OpenEvanston.org, a data portal that provides information on the activities of different government departments.

In 2014, the city was awarded a perfect score in an Illinois Policy Institute initiative that measured government transparency. Based on criteria including accessibility of contact information, public meetings and budgets, the recognition was given to just six local governments in the state.

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