Dallas Plans Reduction in Food Business Inspections

Officials say food safety will not be compromised

Dallas food inspectors are facing an increase of around 200 new businesses a year that require biannual inspections. With 7,100 total locations the city plans to reduce inspections instead of hiring more inspectors.

A Dallas City Council Committee endorsed the plan Monday.

"It's a matter of doing a risk-based assessment of each of the food providers to see what types of food they are serving, and to use our inspectors in a better way than we are currently using them," committee chairperson Sandy Greyson said.

The plan would reduce inspections to once a year for many coffee shops and convenience stores. Drug stores and dollars stores that sell packaged food without on-site kitchens would receive inspections every two years.

Full service restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and schools would still receive inspections two times per year.

Customers at a Dallas QT convenience store, where pizza is made and sold, had mixed reactions.

"Everything here is really well kept and so I don't think there's any problems here, I really don't," said customer April Medlin. She said she buys lunch at the store almost every day.

Customer Lasheila Rogers disagreed with the planned inspection reduction.

"It's a lot of hands on. It's a lot of different people in the area so I think it should be inspected more than the restaurants," she said.

Ben Johnson who owns coffee shop Local Press and Brew in Oak Cliff said his business is also a restaurant with a kitchen like most other coffee shops today.

"We have very good, strict practices that exceed the city's requirements so being inspected doesn't really bother us one way or another," he said. "As a patron of other coffee shops and restaurants I would hope that they meet health and safety inspection requirements."

The plan is scheduled for a vote of the full city council in August.

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