Permits issued to restaurants with uncorrected health violations

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 12:15am

Monday, Louisiana’s Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera, announced his office has investigated the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health. The audit reveals the Office of Public Health issued permits to restaurants that had failed past inspections. Additionally, the Legislative auditor says OPH rarely uses formal enforcement to address violations.

The legislative auditor says OPH’s enforcement doesn’t make restaurant owner feel like they have to comply with the law. In fact, in 2010 and 2011, 33 percent of establishments had at least one repeat critical violation.

The report goes on to suggest that OPH has not conducted the required number of inspections on 81 percent of high-risk retail food establishments. The report also says 32 percent of the re-inspections that were supposed to happen never did.

Bruce Greenstein, Louisiana’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, says the report’s findings are accurate. He says DHH and OPH have started a “Public Health Sanitation Overhaul.” Greenstein went on to say the Office of Public Health will work quickly to remedy the problems.

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