Nearly a year after contaminated drinking water led to more than 87 reported illnesses, a Chattanooga restaurant has received a low score on a recent health inspection.

River Drifters, located at 1925 Suck Creek Road, received a score of 77 after an inspection found the staff was not found to be in control or knowledgable about several foodborne illness risk factors. A cook was also found handling bread and other ready-to-eat foods with his bare hands. 

Other reasons for the low mark included sanitizer in a bucket and sink having more than 200 ppm of chlorine, and cooked onions and mushrooms being left at room temperature by the grill.

A gap at the bottom of the kitchen door and grease build up on the floor under a fryer were also found.


The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department inspects restaurants twice a year and grades the businesses on a 100-point scale. Scores below 70 require corrective action.

Restaurants are reinspected if they fail to meet critical standards. To file a health-related complaint, call the Department of Environmental Health at 209-8110. The scores are original and do not reflect on-the-spot changes, which sometimes lead to upward adjustments.


No failures reported for the week ending June 19, 2019:

77 River Drifters

1925 Suck Creek Road

Reasons including the staff is not in control or knowledgable about several foodborne illness risk factors. Cook handling bread and other ready-to-eat foods with his bare hands. Cooked onions and mushrooms (from an hour ago) left at room temperature by grill (85°F). Sanitizer bucket had far more than 200 ppm Chlorine. More than 200 ppm Chlorine in the sanitizer sink of the triple sink. Gap at the bottom of the door in the kitchen.Grease build up on floor under fryer.

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