Restaurant Inspection Scores and Foodborne Disease

Timothy F. Jones, Boris I. Pavlin, Bonnie J. LaFleur, L. Amanda Ingram, William Schaffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-692
Number of pages5
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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