CALIFORNIA: Grand jury criticizes restaurant inspection process
Posted: May 26th, 2011 - 7:55pm
Source: Atascadero News
The San Luis Obispo County grand jury has released a report criticizing the county’s restaurant inspection process, stating the grading system can result in a restaurant earning a high score despite major violations.
The grand jury found that the inspectors themselves are competent and conscientious, but that there was little else to like about the process.
The report stated that the scoring system is flawed, the performance review process discourages reinspections for subpar restaurants, there is no charge for the first reinspection after violations have been found, the county’s Environmental Health Services doesn’t make full use of fines available under California law and the website where inspection reports are posted is cumbersome to use.
On a positive note, EHS recently enrolled in the federal Food and Drug Administration Voluntary Retail Food Regulatory Program to ensure the safety and security of the food supply at the retail level, a risk-based inspection system that is expected to result in a more effective inspection program without increasing staff.
Grand jury members accompanied inspectors through three restaurant inspections. These inspections are usually unannounced and conducted during regular business hours, taking around 90 minutes. Each inspector has to do a certain number of inspections each month in each assigned geographic area, with inspectors rotated between areas periodically.