John Sullivan and Alletta Emeno of the Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) report that every one of the nation’s 10 largest cities inspects restaurants for health violations at least once a year and usually more often – except Philadelphia.
Almost all have laws requiring a minimum number of inspections, some as often as four times per year. Philadelphia does not.
The result: The city inspects food establishments once every 15.4 months on average, compared with the minimum three visits a year recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Most of the top cities also make restaurant inspections available on the Web or require grades to be posted prominently in the restaurant. Some have been doing so for years.
Philadelphia’s inspections were largely secret until the city released the data to The Inquirer in April after repeated requests over the last six years. It posted its food inspections online for the first time on May 19.
A review of inspections over the last three years shows that even as restaurants help drive the city’s renaissance, a substantial number exhibit failings that range from no soap in the bathroom to mouse droppings on a sushi table to roaches in cooking sauces.