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Health Inspections Lagging

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

Hotels, motels and restaurants by law are supposed to be inspected at least twice a year, but this past year something went wrong.

"Some were getting one, and on the hotel side I believe 78 percent didn't get any," said Carol Dover, who is the president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, which represents the industry.

"We've always welcomed good inspections and timely inspections so we do not support as an industry reducing the number of inspections that we receive just because they could not meet their statutory numbers," she said.

Andrew Reiss owns Andrew's Restaurant downtown. He says good inspections are important to keep the patrons trust.

"Cleanliness is crucial in the restaurant business. If people don't feel like the food is handled properly hot food hot, cold food cold, the crew is clean, the bathroom is clean, refrigeration works. You do that to make customers happy and when customers are happy they keep coming back."

Dover says no matter what the cost, more inspectors should be hired.

"We want to see it fixed. We want to see the consumer have confidence in the inspection program and we welcome that as an industry."

John Pierotti lives in Tallahassee and says there's nothing worse than eating or sleeping at an unclean establishment. He said last year during hurricane season his family needed a hotel and they ended up in one that was infested with bugs.

"When we finally did find a hotel there were roaches in the thing and that's an offense to me. I don't have roaches in my house and I have animals in my house and I don't have roaches. That does bother me."

Although hiring more inspectors is costly many say it's important to make sure restaurants and hotels are doing their job.

The reason there is a lack of inspectors is because many who left their jobs in the past couple years weren't being replaced so it was simply a lack of manpower during a time when the restaurant and hotel business in Florida continues to grow.


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