Vista’s eateries seemed to fare well last year, with only three facilities closed as of December.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health is responsible for conducting inspections of all food service establishments. County inspectors visited the 245 graded facilities in Vista more than 662 times in 2004, an average of more than twice a year for each location.

Full-service restaurants are inspected every 90 days, more frequently if requested, and establishments serving only packaged foods, such as some bars, are visited less often. The county also investigates facilities on a complaint basis.

Inspectors rate facilities based on compliance with a large number of requirements listed on a food inspection report, which gives a starting score of 200 and deducts points for violations. After deductions are taken, the total is divided by two, giving the final score.

The county revised its reports in May to reflect things that restaurants and other establishments were doing correctly rather than listing only violations, a move that has met with widespread approval from restaurant owners and managers.