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State health agency workforce shortages and implications for public health: a case study of restaurant inspections in Louisiana



State health agency workforce shortages and implications for public health: a case study of restaurant inspections in Louisiana



Journal of Environmental Health 76(5): 32-37



The study described in this article evaluated the effects of public health workforce cuts on routine food safety inspections and the occurrence of critical violations. Routine inspection information was collected from two Louisiana databases for permanent food establishments categorized as risk category 3 or 4 in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, for the years 2005, 2007, and 2009. The length of time between routine inspections nearly quadrupled from 2005 to 2009. For risk category 4 establishments, a significant increase occurred in the proportion of inspections that resulted in a critical violation between the three years. The amount of time between routine inspections was significantly higher for inspections that resulted in a critical violation versus those that did not. Lastly, the amount of time between routine inspections, an establishment's risk category, and history of complaint were found to have significant predictive effects on the incidence of a critical violation during a routine inspection, although results varied by year. Study results indicate that decreased workforce capacity in Louisiana may negatively affect the outcomes of routine food safety inspections.

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Accession: 055908683

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PMID: 24437047


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