|Description:||This image depicts a state-appointed public health inspector, who at this point in her inspection, was checking the thermometer in a stainless steel refrigerator, making sure that the temperature was within the required limits necessary to reduce food spoilage and contamination. Health inspectors are not only concerned with the transmission of pathogenic organisms due to unsanitary conditions, or with toxic substance contamination, but also with the safety precautions to be taken to insure an environment is generally safe.|
"Restaurants in the United States are regularly inspected by local, county, or state health department personnel. The guidelines of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration state that "a principal goal to be achieved by a food establishment inspection is to prevent foodborne disease". Although restaurant inspections are one of a number of measures intended to enhance food safety, they are a highly visible responsibility of local health departments."
"More than 54 billion meals are served at 844,000 commercial food establishments in the United States each year; 46% of the money Americans spend on food goes for restaurant meals. On a typical day, 44% of adults in the United States eat at a restaurant. Of a mean 550 foodborne disease outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year from 1993 through 1997, >40% were attributed to commercial food establishments. Preventing restaurant-associated foodborne disease outbreaks is an important task of public health departments." (see link below)