The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) fell far short of its mandate to inspect all NYC restaurants in Fiscal Year 2008, according to an audit by city Comptroller William Thompson, Jr. The report also finds that the agency has not been following up fast enough with restaurants that have failed inspections to ensure that health code violations are being remedied. In a statement, Thompson said that "in one instance, a restaurant was allowed to remain open even after four failed inspections, two of which detected mice. It is important to ensure that compliance inspections are performed timely. Otherwise, the danger that food-borne illness could occur as a result of unsanitary conditions being allowed to continue is increased." The audit calculates that of the 19,321 restaurants with permits in FY08, 4,267 (22%) were never inspected. A spokesman for the health department admitted to City Room that it was an off year, with inspectors getting around to only 80.1% of NYC restaurants. But the DOHMH insists it's on target to inspect 99% this year, and in 2010 restaurants will have to start posting those letter grades.
Restaurant Inspections Slackened in 2008, Says Comptroller
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