Law would increase fee for restaurant inspections
BATON ROUGE - Restaurant owners across the state could see a permit fee increase in the near future. HB337 passed the House and is headed to the Senate. It would increase the permit fee to $150.
The added cost would help the Department of Health and Hospitals fund its restaurant inspection program, and add services so establishments understand what it takes to operate in compliance with food safety laws and regulations.
"I wouldn't have a problem paying an extra $50 if it means the inspectors are looking more closely at the food handling," said Jim Urdiales, owner of Mestizo Restaurant.
In the past, DHH has been accused of not doing its job dealing with restaurant inspections and revisiting locations with violations.
Urdiales says the extra cash paid amounts to about 13 cents a day.
"I think it would have little impact on the bottom line of a restaurant," said Urdiales.
But that's not the case for food trucks, like Three Bones Catering.
"That $50 could go to getting new ingredients, putting another item up on the menu and trying to expand and get out there," said truck operator Breanna Reid.
HB337 is scheduled to be debated in the Senate Wednesday, May 29.