Do students care if their favorite eatery failed an inspection?

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Every week, the Health Department inspects local restaurants and unfortunately, many of them seem to fall short.

While restaurant owners in Leon County may not always share the results of their recent inspections, the Tallahassee Democrat provides a weekly update.

Many students find it convenient to order fast food or dine at many of the local restaurants, but some of the restaurants that students frequent have recently failed inspections.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, for the week of Sept, 18-24, a total of 12 restaurants failed their inspections. However, three of them managed to pass a follow-up inspection within the same week.

During the previous week, nine restaurants were inspected, and only three passed the first inspection.

Auriel Patton, a third-year public relations student, cares about restaurants receiving health department violations and is disappointed that so many seem to come up short on basic health and safety protocols.

“I am mindful about what I put in my body and try to ensure I eat as healthy as possible. My physical and mental health is my top priority, and making wise food choices is important in my self-care,” Patton said.

“Sanitation is extremely important. Restaurants that fail to uphold proper sanitation standards can indeed pose significant risks to their communities,” she added.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, restaurants had similar high-priority violations, including employees failing to wash their hands before wearing gloves and operating with an expired Division of Hotels and Restaurants license.

While some college students are concerned about local restaurants failing inspections, others understand the reasons behind it.

Brandi Roman, a fourth-year public relations student, has worked at many fast-food restaurants and does not fault them for some of the violations they receive.

“If you take a look at what they were dinged for, a lot of that stuff is kind of what I’m used to when I worked in fast food myself,” Roman said.

“We live in a food desert, so I can’t really expect it to be perfect because the people who work there aren’t perfect; they’re in desperate need of employees, and just overall, the food quality itself isn’t the greatest.”

If you notice a restaurant that is failing to follow the state regulations and guidelines, you can report them by calling the Florida DBPR at 850-487-1395

To learn more about local restaurant inspections, visit the Tallahassee Democrat’s Leon County restaurant inspection site.