After the inspection is finished, the inspector rates a food establishment based on the number of critical and non-critical violations it receives. However, I am not so sure what the cut-off numbers are for each rating.
The ratings range from 'fair' to 'superior', fair being the lowest grade and superior the highest. The following descriptions come directly from douglascountyhealth.com:
Superior - The establishment understands and routinely corrects sanitation deficiencies on a day-to-day basis and does not wait for a health inspection before doing so. in addition, at least 75 percent of employees and management of a superior food establishment must have successfully completed a food safety training course conducted by this department, or its equivalent.
Excellent - The establishment routinely corrects most sanitation deficiencies and immediately corrects the minor violations found at the time of inspection.
Standard - The establishment generally corrects most sanitation deficiencies on a routine basis and corrects violations found at the time of inspection in the time allowed by the inspecting health officer.
Fair - The establishment barely meets minimum standards required by state and local food safety codes. Serious and minor sanitation deficiencies are found on each inspection. Sanitation deficiencies are not corrected on a routine basis and repeat inspections are often a necessary part of regulating these establishments to help assure minimum food safety conditions.
Thanks to our super awesome cleaning skills, as well as the thorough and informative food safety class that Trilety and I took almost four years ago, we got our gold star, a superior rating (Trilety's moment of glory) Happy birds :-)