According to Iowa Capital Dispatch, a new rule will "dramatically change" how often restaurants in the state are subject to health department inspections.

Instead of the current inspection schedule of every three years, it will be rolled back to every five. In addition to inspections every three years, they are also checked following ownership changes and directly in response to complaints. Those will continue, but "in the absence of those issues, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals intends to visit each Iowa restaurant no more than once every five years under a set of new rules." Those new rules take effect on November 9.

As you can imagine, not everyone is happy about the change.

This is the antithesis of consumer-focused public policy,” said Mitzi Baum, CEO of the consumer advocacy group Stop Foodborne Illness. “Five years is such a prolonged period of time without having an inspection. The increased risk to public health is exponential … Three years is inadequate, let alone five years.

Even the head of the Iowa Restaurant Association says her organization is "uncomfortable" with it. Jessica Dunker insists neither she nor anyone in her organization requested the change.

Dunker did go on to say there are other protections in place, such as every restaurant being expected to have a certified food protection manager on staff, which provides for a form of self-policing.

What may make the change even more disconcerting is learning about the requirements in other states, where, for example, it's every six months for all establishments in South Dakota and at least once a year for low-risk establishments, twice for medium-risk, or up to three times a year for high-risk establishments in Illinois.

The new policies in Iowa will also affect other businesses selling prepared food items, including grocery stores with delis, sushi bars, or other ready-to-eat items.

10 Great Restaurants Outside of Cedar Rapids

The Top-Rated Restaurants in Marion & Hiawatha

As a way to highlight some of the restaurants just outside of Cedar Rapids, we turned to Yelp to figure out the highest-rated restaurants in Marion and Hiawatha. In order to be added to the list, the official address of the business had to be in one of those two cities. Here are the top ten!

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