State and city health inspectors protect public welfare by ensuring that eating establishments are in compliance with state health codes. The main goal of public health inspectors is to prevent foodborne illnesses by looking for these types of violations in restaurants:

  • Food stored at unsafe temperatures or unsafe storage
  • Employee hygiene and unclean restrooms
  • Mold
  • Other general unsanitary conditions like rodent droppings

Some states have even gone so far as to require that food establishments be inspected a certain number of times a year without announcement.

What Happens If a Restaurant Violates a Health Code?

State agencies have the power to require that food establishments be in compliance with health codes. Those in violation can receive any or several of these penalties:

  • Fines
  • Closure of the establishment
  • Unannounced follow-up visits
  • Mandatory attendance to "Serve Safe" courses (food safety class)
  • Administrative hearing

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Health Violation?

A restaurant that is in violation with the health code usually receives a comparable penalty and an opportunity to be cleaned and reexamined for compliance with the code. However, repeated violations are a serious problem that could lead to liability to customers or submitting to an administrative hearing. Contacting a government lawyer in your area is wise when you need legal representation for issues regarding your business.