Foodservice Equipment Reports

In Louisiana, Inspections Don't Ensure Safety

According to a new report, there’s a huge gap between the number of food-safety violations in Louisiana’s restaurants and the number of penalties actually levied in the state.

A new legislative audit shows that Louisiana's food-safety regulators have failed to ensure foodservice operations are complying with health standards. The audit says that the state’s Office of Public Health allows violators to continue operations, issues permits to restaurants that haven’t corrected past violations, rarely assesses penalties to violators of safety regulations, and doesn't meet its own inspection standards.

According to the auditors, out of nearly 450,000 violations in three years, the Office of Public Health levied penalties on only two establishments and didn't collect any of the $1,300 in penalties assessed.

Nearly a third of operations deemed to have at least one critical violation, such as chemical contamination, sewage backup and improper food storage, weren't re-inspected to make sure the problems were corrected.

The inspector’s office recommended a reorganization of the $11 million-a-year food inspection program, an increase in permitting fees and an upgrade to its data collection efforts. The chief of the agency which oversees inspections didn’t dispute most of the audit’s recommendations for improving food safety and said the department is working to strengthen inspections and enforcement.

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