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Friday, July 08, 2005

Are Lynchburg Restaurants Safe? Part 4

Generally speaking you can expect a safe dining experience in Lynchburg. The Virginia Department of Health inspects more frequently than required, they follow the guidelines the FDA provides and they are diligent in their inspection process. Public awareness of
restaurant inspections scores which you can access on this page on the right is a new important element in improving food safety. The CDC expects that restaurants will perform better with public knowledge of their food safety scores.

You should be aware that there are weaknesses with the current methods of restaurant inspections. Primarily, the health status of employees are not monitored medically. The size of this problem increases when you realize that food service employees, in most cases, are without medical insurance and are likely to work when ill because of the low wages they receive. Also compounding this, restaurant owners may tend to look the other way when they know a food worker is sick and they are faced with staffing problems. At a minimum, we would recommend Hepatitis A screening.

The CDC reports that the effect of restaurant inspections under the current guidelines may not have a direct relationship to foodborne out breaks in restaurants. Part of the problem is the lack adequate data, and the fact that illness from foodborne diseases are under reported.

Other interesting facts, are that the safest foods to eat are the cooked foods at the restaurant. Fruits and salads are more likely to be contaminated. Fish and seafood products have been identified to as a likely source of foodborne illness. Additional, exotic items on a menu are something to be cautious of.


(Restaurant reviews and safety)

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