Post the scores
Posted: September 20th, 2007 - 12:39pm by Doug PowellThe Orlando Sentinel argues in a forceful editorial that Florida restaurants should be posting some kind of restaurant inspection information rather than requiring would-be customers to visit a web site.
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Holly Benson says, "No one ever goes to our Web site."
The editorial says that state inspections of Central Florida restaurants found that almost one in three eateries in the past 14 months got cited for rodent- or roach-related violations.
Two in five employed poor hygienic practices, including workers not washing their hands.
And three of five restaurants scored at least 10 "critical violations" that can lead to a variety of foodborne illnesses.
The editorial further says that Ms. Benson should push the Legislature not just to require easily understandable inspections in restaurants, but to give you enough staff for three inspections per year per restaurant. Now, the department struggles to conduct just two inspections.
Push it to give you authority to impose more meaningful fines, and to give you more resources so your department can better educate operators in sanitary food preparation.
Push it to allow you to get more restaurants to do daily what most of them already, generally, are doing: serving the public well.
Post the scores. Such public displays of information help bolster overall awareness of food safety amongst staff and the public -- people routinely talk about this stuff. The interested public can handle more, not less, information about food safety.
And instead of waiting for politicians to take the lead, the best restaurants, those with nothing to hide and everything to be proud of, will go ahead and make their inspection scores available -- today.