Florida Restaurants Could Get More Or Fewer Inspections Under New Risk-Based Model

Jul 1, 2014

The new inspection standards will apply to all food service providers, from street carts to white-linen restaurants.
Credit Michael Rosenquest via Flickr

A Florida law that went into effect today bases the frequency of restaurant inspections on how much of a risk each establishment poses. The new system replaces the previous schedule of two unannounced yearly inspections for all food-service providers.

Your favorite lunch spot now has a food safety risk grade. Division of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Beth Frady says the number—from one to four—determines how many times inspectors will drop by unannounced over the next year.

"Hot dog carts or temporary food service permits, they’ll receive one inspection each fiscal year, whereas those with confirmed cases of foodborne illness, they’ll receive up to four," she says.

She says many places will get two or three inspections, all depending on their violation history and their cooking process. Frady says the department requested the change to focus resources on the restaurants that need the most help. 

“It makes great business sense for our licensees but also for Florida’s taxpayers," she says. "It allows the department to hone our regulatory efforts on those establishments that may need a little more assistance from the department and a little more education to make great business decisions.”

But she says, the state will always do extra inspections when it gets complaints. 

Check out the state's restaurant risk assessment here