Report: restaurant inspections aren't "ready to serve"
BATON ROUGE- According to a report by the Legislative Auditor, the Louisiana Office of Public Health has fallen short in its inspections of restaurants.
The audit claims that enough isn't being done to ensure food is safe.
The audit suggests one out of three restaurants with repeat critical violations were still allowed to serve food.
"We are far from perfect, I'll be the first to admit that we have a lot of work to do. We're focusing on the health and safety, but we want our process to be more efficient," said Bruce Greenstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals.
He oversees inspections, and blames problems on a lack of set guidelines for inspectors.
"We feel comfortable and confident...our inspectors have been going to these restaurants for years. They know the operators and what the violations look like," Greenstein said.
But according to the report, that's not always the case. Data shows inspectors hardly returned to confirm issues were corrected.
"We saw that in a third of the time .... in a critical violation... there was a repeat violation or behavior wasn't changing," said Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera.
Diners aren't eating this up.
"Its there job that's what they're suppose to be doing. When they're not keeping the restaurants you eat at clean, you feel a little uncomfortable, a little let down," said Drake Smith.
And for some, it's changing their approach on eating out.
"I'll probably think twice about going out to eat now," said Carolyn Jarreau.
Greenstein maintains there's nothing to worry about.
"Go out and eat. Enjoy some of the best seafood on the planet and best restaurants in the world."
Click here to access restaurant reports.