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Dallas City Council Proposes Changes to Restaurant Inspections

The new plan would help address an overburdened system

The rules would stay the same for full-service kitchens
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The Dallas City Council is set to consider a measure that would change the way that the City handles restaurant inspections.

At present, every restaurant in Dallas — including chains, coffee shops, and spots that only serve pre-packaged foods — are required to be inspected twice a year. That system has reportedly overburdened City of Dallas health inspectors, forcing them to sometimes inspect “25 to 35” restaurants on a given day. The new proposal sets up a system of tiers for restaurants, some requiring more frequent inspection than others, according to CBS DFW.

Under that new system, places like coffee shops and convenience stores that serve “only commercially-processed, time and temperature controlled foods” would be inspected once a year. Convenience stores and other establishments that serve food but don’t have kitchens would only need to be inspected every other year. Full-service restaurants and establishments that cook or serve raw foods would continue to be inspected twice a year.

As a Dallas Observer story found earlier this year, there are some pretty gaping holes in Dallas’ restaurant inspection procedures. Health inspectors are overworked, more than 500 new restaurants are opening every year, and budget shortfalls have meant that extreme inconsistencies exist, especially with regard to how restaurants are reinspected after earning low scores from restaurant inspectors.

The proposal is expected to hit the agenda at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

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