Characteristics of restaurants associated with critical food safety violations

N. Menachemi, V. A. Yeager, D. M. Taylor, B. Braden, L. A. McClure, C. Ouimet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This study examined whether restaurant characteristics are associated with critical violations identified during restaurant inspections. Using multiple years of data, we also examined changes in critical violation patterns over time. Data from all restaurant inspections in Jefferson County, Alabama between the years 2008-2010 were analyzed. The results of a total of 5,488 inspections were examined, with an average of 1,829 restaurants in operation each year of the study. Key findings suggested that certain restaurant characteristics, including cuisine-type, are associated with certain critical violations.The five most common critical violations were related to cold holding temperatures, sanitization of equipment, personnel training/certification, hygienic practices/hand-washing, and storage/labeling of toxic/poisonous items, including smoke from people smoking.The frequency of critical violations changed over time; some increased or worsened, whereas others decreased or improved, commonly in response to policy and enforcement changes. Overall, we find that certain food establishments are prone to specific critical violations, information which should be considered in the development of targeted educational programs and interventions for food service settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalFood Protection Trends
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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