5:39 PM EDT, July 19, 2012
How safe is the food at your favorite fast food restaurant? WDBJ-7's Bryce Williams spoke with a health inspector in Montgomery County and some concerned customers. Dining at fast food restaurants is something most of us do, at least once in a while. After seeing the photo of an employee with his feet in lettuce bins in Ohio, some customers would rather cook at home. We spoke with Jennifer Harris while we were filming in Christiansburg. She enjoys eating fast food from time to time. “Well, to tell you the truth, I think it happens all the time at a lot of places and we just don't know about it. Of course it's terrible,” she said.
Robert Parker is a public information officer for the Virginia Department of Health. We spoke to him at his office in Christiansburg. He said restaurants are inspected from top to bottom. “The condition of the food as it comes in, how it's handled, how it's stored, how it's prepared and then how it's served—and that includes everything-some things you might not imagine such as utensils, toilets, the condition of an employee's clothing,” he said.
There are different types of inspections. Some are routine, others take place following a request by the owner or because of complaints.
If a restaurant doesn't pass an inspection, the owner's license can be suspended or revoked.
Health inspectors can't prevent things like the lettuce incident. But they say if a restaurant has a valid license, you can be confident your food is safe.
If you have concerns, you can access information online about inspections in your area including details of specific violations. Log onto www.vdh.virginia.gov
Look under the a-z index—under "r" for restaurant inspections.
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