Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Objective: As Americans consume more meals outside the home, food safety of restaurants is more critical. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of food service establishment (FSE) inspection frequency on FSE performance. In this study, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) public health system is compared to Ohio local public health departments (Ohio LPHDs). The USAF inspects FSEs more frequently than Ohio LPHDs do. The goal is to determine if this increased frequency leads to higher food safety in the FSEs.

Methods: We reviewed 1482 reports from three USAF bases and 1909 reports from six Ohio LPHDs for the years 2011 and 2012. Data evaluated includes: total, critical, and non-critical food safety violations and inspection frequency. We looked at violations per inspection, which were determined by dividing violations (total, critical, and non-critical) by the total number of inspections. Annual frequency for both groups is determined by taking the total number of inspections for both years divided by two. Test for significance of the violations and frequency differences are performed by t-test using the 95% confidence level.

Results: The USAF shows significantly lower rates in total, critical, and non-critical violations, and inspects at significantly higher frequency.

Conclusion: The results show that frequent inspections coincide with fewer violations. The more frequent schedule affords greater opportunities to conduct food safety education. Further research might determine if an intermediate inspection schedule could offer similar protection as observed with the USAF schedule.

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