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Report: many food-related businesses lack inspections

Rochester Business Journal
January 30, 2014

Thousands of food-related businesses are operating without updated inspections, a report released Thursday by the state comptroller’s office states.

As of June 4, inspection deadlines for nearly 5,000 food manufacturers, groceries, bakeries and other food-related entities had not been completed, auditors found. Another 439 establishments had not had their initial inspections completed prior to opening.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Food Safety and Inspection is responsible for inspecting 31,000 food-related businesses, the report states.

The food safety division’s staff of 82 inspectors is as much as 37 percent below levels recommended by the Food and Drug Administration, the report states.

“Food safety is critical for the health and well-being of New Yorkers, but the Department of Agriculture and Markets is quickly falling behind in its responsibilities to make sure what the public is eating is safe,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.

Ag and Markets should establish performance measures for food inspection, establish procedures to better prioritize and complete inspections of new restaurants, and improve access to data among divisions and obtain training on using the data to monitor performance, DiNapoli said.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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