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Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Apr;10(4):688-92.

Restaurant inspection scores and foodborne disease.

Author information

1
Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. tim.f.jones@state.tn.us

Abstract

Restaurants in the United States are regularly inspected by health departments, but few data exist regarding the effect of restaurant inspections on food safety. We examined statewide inspection records from January 1993 through April 2000. Data were available from 167,574 restaurant inspections. From 1993 to 2000, mean scores rose steadily from 80.2 to 83.8. Mean inspection scores of individual inspectors were 69-92. None of the 12 most commonly cited violations were critical food safety hazards. Establishments scoring <60 had a mean improvement of 16 points on subsequent inspections. Mean scores of restaurants experiencing foodborne disease outbreaks did not differ from restaurants with no reported outbreaks. A variety of factors influence the uniformity of restaurant inspections. The restaurant inspection system should be examined to identify ways to ensure food safety.

PMID:
15200861
PMCID:
PMC3323064
DOI:
10.3201/eid1004.030343
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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