By: Lanetra Bennett
June 26, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - New food inspection changes are on the way soon. It's similar to a teacher spending more time with the student who needs the most help. Inspectors will spend less time with Florida businesses making 'good grades' and more time with those with low marks.
The owners of Mickey's Lakeside Cafe in Tallahassee say they've been told you can eat off of their floors.
Don't worry, your food is prepared on the counter. But, because of their 'clean' safety inspections, they won't be inspected as often anymore.
The restaurant's co-owner, Mick Slager says, "We never have a mark against us, I don't believe. Some suggestions, maybe. But, we try to stay on top of that. My wife's very concerned about cleanliness in the restaurant, especially in the kitchen."
Beginning July 1st, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation will implement the risk-based inspection frequency program.
Food service establishments will be categorized by risk levels rated one through four. Assigned risk levels directly coincide with how many inspections establishments are required to undergo each fiscal year.
Beth Frady with DBPR says, "Those hot dog carts, temporary event permits, they'll receive one inspection a year. Whereas, if an establishment has a confirmed case of food-borne illness, they'll receive four inspections each fiscal year."
This will lower the burden for businesses that have a positive compliance history and allow the department to focus its regulatory efforts in locations that may pose a higher risk to public safety.
"I welcome the inspections." Says, Slager.
Frady says there are only about 40 establishments statewide that are a level four.
The way inspections are done won't change, only the frequency of them. DBPR says they will continue to investigate complaints, regardless of the level status.
Press Release: DBPR
State implements new food service inspection frequency
~Risk-based frequency reduces regulatory burden on businesses that have a positive compliance history with DBPR~
Tallahassee, Fla. – Beginning July 1 the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Hotels and Restaurants will implement the risk-based inspection frequency program in accordance with a law passed during the 2013 Legislative Session. The new inspection frequency program will lower the regulatory burden for businesses that have a positive compliance history with DBPR as well as allow the department to focus its regulatory efforts in locations that may pose a higher risk to public safety.
“Florida’s restaurants and food trucks not only serve the citizens of the state, but also those who are visiting on vacation, so ensuring public safety is crucial to Florida’s growing economy,” said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. “This new inspection frequency program allows the department to hone our regulatory efforts, which makes great business sense for our licensees and for Florida’s taxpayers.”
Under the new inspection frequency requirements, food service establishments will be categorized by risk levels rated one through four. Assigned risk levels directly coincide with how many inspections establishments are required to undergo each fiscal year. For example, those assigned to level one, will be required to undergo one inspection each fiscal year, whereas those assigned to level four will be required to undergo four inspections each fiscal year. Additionally, the requirement for the department to conduct an inspection each time a complaint is received will remain the same.
An establishment’s initial classification shall be assigned upon annual inspection or upon application for a license and verified at the licensing inspection. Additionally, at the beginning of each fiscal year, DBPR will reassess each establishment’s inspection frequency classification and reclassify an establishment, if necessary. DBPR has a very robust website as well as the DBPR Mobile app where consumers can go to view an establishment’s inspection results anytime as well as an establishment’s newly-assigned risk level.
The complete guidelines surrounding risk-based inspection frequency can be found in rule 61C-1.002 F.A.C. Consumers or licensees with questions regarding the new inspection frequency may also call DBPR at 850.487.1395 or visit the department’s website at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/hr/inspections/Frequency.html.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.