It has absolutely no bearing on where I’m going to eat. Well, if one place as an “A” vs. “B” or “C” - no, if a place has failed and has a known history of failing then perhaps. The bottom line is the health inspectors can be extremely biased in their inspections often having their hand out for a pay-off.
I “failed” a health inspection once because my prep-kitchen had insufficient grout on the floor tiles. Upon his return to inspect the newly grouted floor, he then failed me for “stained” ceiling tiles in the same prep kitchen. This was my first inspection at this location and I was 110% sure he was looking for a pay-off to go away. He probably failed me 4 or 5 times before finally passing me. I had a “temporary” bright yellow certificate for 6 mos, to which I would attach a copy of the handwritten report for the public to see why my certificate was temporary.
As others have noted when I travel, mostly to Caribbean islands I find it whimsical how “un-sanitary” many of their practices are based on US Health Dept. code. You would think based on the regulations here thousands of travelers would be dying from the lack of proper food handling etc.
For an example I offer you the following from a trip to Aruba a couple years ago which was so absurd I literally took pictures. This is an outdoor water front “restaurant” where the fishing boats come in, unload their bounty and clean and cook right there on the dock all out doors.
The first picture is where the “prep” the fish, they clean them right there at the cusp of the waterline. The fish waste is simply brushed back into the water. See the two guys on the left in the white chef jackets cleaning fish…wait…do you see the guy on the right? (2nd pic) here’s a close up, yep his in a speedo / banana hammock cleaning fish too!! LMAO…never have I ever witnessed someone in a speedo doing prep work in a restaurant!!! 3rd pic of the open kitchen, birds, flies etc. all around with the fresh fish being cleaned etc. Very questionable hygiene practices, excellent fresh seafood.
(pictures uploaded out of order, sorry)