Restaurant Inspection Shock? Not so much


Touching on yesterday’s post, the Patriot News published an editorial piece today, asking for more diligent restaurant inspections across the Commonwealth after the fiasco that followed when the Capitol cafeteria was finally inspected late last year.

Details about the cafeteria sanction have come out and they are not pretty. Allegedly, it had not been inspected for the last five years. It seems that the State Department of Agriculture was responsible for ensuring food and health safety of the cafeteria, but given the tremendous strain on the department’s resources over the past few years, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that inspections were (and are) not completed regularly.

The paper reports: “[People] assume that a restaurant they frequent will get regular inspections…All the rules, codes and standards are in place; the inspections just need to happen…In 2005, an audit showed that 4,000
restaurants statewide had not been inspected in a year or more.”

Shocking? Not to those who track public health issues in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, several workers with the Agriculture Department were let go in the last year (at least locally). The residents of the Lehigh Valley must ask themselves: When was the last time that my favorite restaurant was inspected? If that restaurant is within the cities, it’s fairly easy to find out the answer. But if it’s located anywhere in the suburbs, it’s a bit harder to know.

A regional health department would take over restaurant inspections in the Lehigh Valley, guaranteeing that local favorites are inspected at least once a year. You can’t have that sort of guarantee currently.

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on February 3, 2010, in Health, Regions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is why the restaurants in the city of Allentown are safer than many in the suburbs. The city has its own inspectors. The suburbs don’t and rely on the state inspectors. This is a scary fact that many people don’t know about.

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