PROVO — Health inspections for restaurants in Utah County are now searchable online.

The service is designed both to make it easy for diners to check out their favorite restaurants, and to reduce the time the health department staff has to spend responding to requests for information, said Terry Beebe, director of the Utah County Division of Environmental Health.

The searchable database can be accessed by clicking on link on the health department's website.

Making the information available online can also be seen as a payback for public support of the health department. "The public helps us do our job. They can be inspectors for us," Beebe said, encouraging patrons to contact the health department if they see conditions in restaurants that are questionable.

The database does not include a tip Beebe said diners should know if they get sick after eating out: "More often than not, it's not the last thing you ate that made you sick, even though that's what you remember." Most food-borne bugs that make people ill take four hours to several days to start making a person feel sick, he said.

Salt Lake County also has restaurant inspection results available online through a link on their website.

Steve Fidel Twitter: SteveFidel