How Clean are Louisiana Restaurants? Check the Report Here
Louisiana's restaurant and hospitality industry is well known throughout the world. People come from far and wide to experience our joie de vivre and eat our delicious food. The people who work in this industry are what make it the billion dollar economic engine that it is. That being said, even the best engines can use a tune-up and some preventative maintenance every now and then.
While the outward focus for guests is always on serving up a good time with great flavor a good deal of the inward focus for any establishment in Louisiana that serves food to the public is safety. Food borne illnesses can not only kill a business, they can literally kill patrons. That's why the Louisiana Department of Health regularly sends health inspectors into such establishments on a daily basis.
These inspections aren't a "gotcha game", they're more along the lines of how your mom would come in behind you after "you cleaned your room" and she noticed some glaring errors that needed to be addressed. Except in this case, the stakes are much higher. Public safety is always a major concern and restaurants and food service companies work very hard to maintain a great reputation in the public eye as a safe place to dine.
That being said, how do you know if the places you choose to dine or the school cafeteria where your child eats breakfast or lunch are actually providing a meal that is prepared and served safely?
The Louisiana Department of Health Provides Inspection Reports to Consumers
The information is part of the Louisiana Department of Health website. A lot of us got used to visiting the LDH site during COVID. But, the LDH site also provides information on eateries and food service outlets in all 64 Louisiana Parishes.
It's part of the Eat Safe Louisiana program and you deserve the right to know how the places you trust for quality foods and beverages actually stack up when held to the state's food safety standards. The inspection reports cover any facilities that serve food to the masses from five star restaurants to food trucks to elementary schools and nursing homes to even parish correctional facilities. Each of these entities must comply with the standards set forth by the state.
You can view the latest inspection reports right here.
LDH Inspectors are very diligent in their jobs and if you look at some of the inspection reports you'll see little things noted such as "not enough drain mats" or "improper storage". Quite often these items are corrected during the inspection itself. However, major violations are flagged and in some cases businesses are shut down until the situation is rectified.
There are nearly 32,000 retail food operations in Louisiana. Inspectors from LDH visit each of those establishments at least once per year. However, there are some food service operations that require a more vigorous inspection regimen. Those establishments could be visited, at random, up to four times a year or more.
The site also provides a place where you can report an establishment that you feel is "underperforming" in the area of food safety. Click here for the reporting page and select the area of the state you are in.
So, if you do have concerns that you have vocalized to the establishment about their food safety protocols and you feel your voice is not being heard, there is a "next step" you can take.
Thankfully most of our Louisiana food operators create dishes in an environment that is probably safer than our own home kitchens. I guess it's a good thing when we have friends over for a barbeque they can't ask to see our "inspection report".
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