Why Restaurant Inspections are Important

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 48 million, or 1 in 6 people, get sick from a foodborne illness in the United States every year. 128,000 people are hospitalized due to foodborne illness, and around 3,000 people die each year from foodborne illnesses.

Foodborne illness is a danger in Arziona

Restaurant inspections are conducted around the state. These inspections help alleviate the risk of food poisoning and foodborne illness that result from improperly cooked food, unwashed hands, and even moldy food that could find its way onto your plate by mistake.

Handwashing is always best to prevent foodborne illness
Handwashing is always best to prevent foodborne illness // Canva

Uncovering Health Violations in the Phoenix Area

A recent inspection by the Maricopa County Environment Services Department found two restaurants that were in violation of safe food handling codes. Some of the things they found were:

  • Moldy chicken found in a refrigerator
  • A refrigerator with temperatures not cold enough to store food
  • Sanitizers that were at the wrong concentration level
  • Employees not washing hands after handling credit cards, picking food up off floor
  • Improper food storage
  • Vitamins and medications stored over food prep area
Safe food handling is important.
Safe food handling is important. // Canva

This is just an overview of some of the items that were uncovered. Two restaurants in the Phoenix and Mesa area were cited for eight health violations during an inspection during the second week of October.

Proper food storage matters in Arizona
Proper food storage matters in Arizona // Canva

Violations ranged from moldy chicken that was discovered in a walk-in refrigerator, to employees who performed tasks, then didn't put on gloves before starting food prep, to improper handwashing.

The two restaurants cited for various violations were:

  1. Yu Tian Xia Hot Pot in Mesa
  2. Pizza and Potatoes in Phoenix
Proper food storage matters in Arizona
Proper food storage matters in Arizona // Canva

How Many Health Inspections Were Conducted in Maricopa County?

It's important to note these two restaurants are outliers. The week of October 13th, close to 1,080 food service facilities were inspected throughout the county.

Wearing gloves when handling food cuts down on illness
Wearing gloves when handling food cuts down on illness // Canva

The inspections were done at restaurants and other establishments that serve food. Area hospitals, retirement homes and schools were also inspected. In total, over 160 restaurants received an A rating after inspection.

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