Food Safety Risks in Restaurants and School Foodservice Establishments: Health Inspection Reports

Junehee Kwon, Kevin R. Roberts, Kevin Sauer, Kerri B. Cole, Carol W. Shanklin Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 25-35, Jan 2014 Volume 34, Issue 1: Pages 25–35

Each day, schools provide meals to over 31 million children, while restaurants serve 198 million customers. These operations are responsible for most foodborne illness outbreaks, and health inspection reports may reveal food safety challenges. To identify food safety risks and address behavior changes in restaurants and school foodservice, health inspection reports for 2,511 schools and 2,624 restaurants in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island were reviewed and compared. Violations were coded into 30 categories and grouped as critical and/or behavioral violations. Total, critical, and behavioral violations were calculated for both restaurants and schools and compared by use of t-tests. Odds ratios evaluated the likelihood that a specific violation type would occur. Behavioral and critical violations were more frequent in restaurants than in schools (P < 0.001). Odds ratios revealed that restaurants were 3.6 times more likely than schools to be cited for behavioral violations and 3.0 times more likely to be cited for critical violations. Restaurants had more behavioral violations in most categories, whereas violations for schools tended to involve equipment and facility maintenance. Our data revealed that food safety challenges differed between schools and restaurants. Results provide guidance for behavior changes and necessary facility maintenance at these operations.

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