San Francisco Has Shortage Of Restaurant Inspectors

The restaurant market may be booming in San Francisco, but the health risks might be as well. Operators, already having a tough time finding and hiring servers and kitchen staff, don’t have to worry about an annual inspection: There aren’t enough health inspectors to conduct the routine assessments required by the city. The restaurant database on the city’s Health Department website revealed brick-and-mortar restaurants and food trucks often have gone well over a year between inspections, according to a search by the San Francisco Business Times.

“Although restaurants are supposed to be inspected every six months, some have gone 18 months without an inspection,” Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, told the newspaper. “This lapse of time means that the score is out of date, which is not of benefit to the restaurant or the consumer.”

The Times cited two restaurants, the House of Hunan and Foreign Cinema, which haven’t been inspected since the first half of 2014. While both had passing scores, the lapse in time between inspections violates the department’s own guidelines.

The Health Department is making an effort to fix the problem, according to spokesperson Nancy Sarieh. She told the paper 10 inspector positions were filled in January, bringing the health inspector staff to 27. After completing training and orientation, those inspectors will be in the field by March. When fully staffed, the Health Department will have 29 food inspectors.

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