MICHIGAN: Are some restaurants allowed to get too many health violations?
Posted: July 31st, 2011 - 1:39pm
This is part of a Chronicle series on Muskegon County health department inspection records from 2007-10. Click here to follow the entire series.
Nearly every food establishment in Muskegon County gets at least a few citations from the health department following an inspection.
Some get more — sometimes many more — than others.
But does that mean restaurants don't take food code violations seriously? The Chronicle wanted to know as part of an examination of more than 22,000 records on food safety culled from Public Health-Muskegon County.
The answer depends on who you ask.
Public Health-Muskegon County's system may allow a restaurant to accumulate a lot of violations, but it does work, said Ken Kraus, the agency's director.
He points to two results: the total number of “critical” violations restaurants have been cited for has decreased in recent years; and several restaurants that received the most violations between 2007 and 2010 have cleaned up, and are now, largely, complying with the food code.
In 2010, food servers were cited for 1,766 critical violations, down from 2,195 critical violations in 2008.
“Our belief is that the system is working,” Kraus said. “We're across the board seeing fewer and fewer critical violations. Places are managing much better and they're keeping food safety in mind.”