Restaurant and Grocery Store Inspections: A Customer Guide

Is there anything worse than spotting a cockroach in the restaurant kitchen’s flour bin? Well, maybe find half a cockroach.

So what can you do?

In addition to notifying your server or manager, you can report your frightening discovery to the agency in the State of Florida that keeps track of these things.

Here’s what you need to know about Florida restaurant inspections:

Who inspects restaurants?

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation sends inspectors in restaurants.

What are inspectors looking for?

They are looking for a variety of violations this includes:

â–ª Dirty kitchen equipment such as crispy meat slicers and viscous soda makers.

â–ª Live and dead insects and rodents, and the poo they leave behind.

â–ª Food safety which includes storage temperatures and labeling dates.

â–ª Defective or broken equipment such as sinks.

Restaurants and grocery stores are inspected by the State of Florida. Inspectors look for the safety and cleanliness of food. Customers and diners can also report problems. Miami Herald File

What if a restaurant fail the inspection?

If an inspector determines that management should deal with violations prior to serving food to customers, the restaurant will be closed until it passes a new inspection, usually within a day or two.

Can a guest report a problem?

Customers who see a problem may file a complaint with the Florida Department of Business Regulation.

What about the grocery stores?

Florida food stores are inspected by another state agency, the Department of Agriculture.

Unlike restaurants, grocery stores – which include grocery stores, supermarkets, mini markets, convenience stores, food warehouses, food distribution, and food processing facilities – are typically not closed if they fail the inspection. Instead, inspectors order the sale of specific products to stop. A problem with the bologna delicatessen? No more bologna sales until things get better, for example.

Inspectors look for unsafe or unsanitary food storage – they want hot food kept warm and cold food kept cold, and all under a blanket. They’re also on the lookout for insects, rodents, bug-eaten goods, workers who don’t follow cleanliness rules like hand washing, and dirt on equipment like deli slicers.

Customers can also report a problem to the Ministry of Agriculture by filing a complaint.

South Florida-born editor Jeff Kleinman oversees coverage of breaking news, public service and trends.

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