This isn't meant to disgust my fellow Flint-area diners. We all eat at the same places, many open over 50 years in Genesee County and enjoy the experience every time.

Let's be clear -- this isn't an attack on any restaurant owner, manager or short-staffed team. This is simply a reminder of what's really important when it comes to dining out -- what you see on the customer side vs what the back of house might be like.

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Look out for dirty things at your favorite Flint area restaurants.

These are just a few of the areas to notice in your favorite eatery.

  1. Ceiling Vents: It's as easy as looking up. Some Flint spots have tile from the "smoking" days others are new. Do you notice a ton of dirt & dust around the vents?
  2. Restroom Cleanliness: Does it smell great and look clean? That's a good sign. Always out of soap? Urine on the floor? Toilet paper/napkins everywhere? Not good. You have to wonder how clean the kitchen might be.
  3. Dirty Silverware: If it's dirty, they may not be using the dishwasher sanitation system properly.
  4. Lighting: Notice a lot of lights indoors or outside not working? Changing bulbs is easy. What other easy stuff isn't being done?
  5. Weird Smells: I don't mean "fish in a microwave" smell. Think musty or sewage. That's a sign of plumbing issues, moldy product or build-up of some sort.

Nobody wants to eat a meal prepared in a place where bacteria, bugs and rodents are easily attracted.

Here's where you can get regularly updated information from the Genesee County Health Department through their regular, unannounced restaurant inspections. Keep in mind, they don't handle grocery stores and businesses like that -- only restaurants & bars.

Shout out to area restaurant teams doing their best in cleanliness, service and dedication to great customer experiences. We thank you.

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