Investigative TV report found operators unprepared to provide recent inspections to diners.
NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit recently reported on Santa Clara County lack of a food safety placard system. Though the Santa Clara Environmental Health Department does have a standalone website that houses inspection reports, and is searchable by location, the reporter found the information provided to be insufficient.
As part of its investigation, an undercover reporter visited 10 restaurants that had been cited for major violations and asked a manager to view the most recent inspection reports. Nine out of ten restaurants denied the request, though some did answer some questions about hygiene practices. Upon reviewing inspection files obtained through public records requests, some responses provided by employees were inconsistent with the inspection reports.
The reporter shared her experience with Heather Forshey, the department’s director of the Consumer Protection Division. Forshey assured viewers that inspectors in Santa Clara County are working to remind restaurants that they are required by state law to show the latest inspection report to customers upon request.
Restaurants are one of the most highly regulated industries in the state, and it’s an unfortunate reality that not every restaurant employee understands the numerous rules affecting their place of work, but operators need to take care to ensure their staff is empowered to comply with requirements such as this. The California Restaurant Association (CRA) supports the county’s effort to better educate restaurant operators about the Cal Code’s requirements, and reminds all operators that those rules apply statewide.
Watch the news story here.