Health Regulations for Food Establishments in Tallahassee

With school recently starting back for colleges in Tallahassee, students are the main customers when it comes to eating out. The problem stands that students aren’t satisfied with the sanitation of the facilities where they eat.

Qadeera Allen, a fourth-year visual arts student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and frequent diner, doesn’t feel that health inspections have been effective.

“I feel that health inspections could be a lot more thorough in their process and how they go about cleaning and inspecting restaurants. The floors are sticky and unclean, there’s no hot water in the bathroom sinks, or the dishes aren’t clean.”

Since July 1, 2014 The Division of Hotels and Restaurants are in charge of inspecting all public food establishments in the Tallahassee area. According to the risk-based inspection frequency program, each food establishment is given an assessment on a scale of 1-4 based on the restaurant's risk level.

Restaurant manager for CS Café, Toni Footman, elaborates on what necessary steps she has her employees take to make sure that the restaurant is kept clean.

“Our employees first go through a safety procedure. Its an online course that they take so they can understand what needs to be cleaned, how it needs to be cleaned and what needs to be stored at a certain temperature,” Footman said. “Each employee has a set time where they go to the back and know exactly what needs to be done while business is slow and steady.”

According to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) health violations are judged off of numerous categories: food obtained from an approved source, parasite destruction for raw or undercooked animal products and food not being reserved.

A survey of 100 students all had common problems that they encountered at food establishments in Tallahassee. Some of the most common incidents are not properly cleaned dishware, bugs being found in food and finding clumps of hair in their meals.

This is not the case for all student diners. Chanelle Glover a fourth-year pre-physical therapy student from Jacksonville, Fla., says that health inspections does a good job on their regulations.

“Health inspections do a good job because most food establishments I’ve eaten at haven’t had any issues such as bugs, hair in the food or bad food. Establishments are kept clean and inspection grades are kept in the open,” said Glover.

According to DBPR, when an establishment is first opened its’ classification is assigned to an annual inspection or upon application for licensure and verified at the licensing inspection.

DBPR says that inspections can be lowered if the establishment has a positive compliance history with the department. Inspections also occur if there are complaints made by the customers.

Inspections are made to enable the division to better communicate with licensees along with the public. For more information on health inspections in Tallahassee you can visit