September 24, 2018

After Bad Report, Louisiana Unveils New Restaurant Inspection Plan

After a recent report published by and the The Times-Picayune revealed that New Orleans had fewer restaurant inspections than most cities and that many of the city’s restaurant’s hadn’t been inspected at all during 2012, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals unveiled a new plan sto strengthen food safety inspections.  The plan, announced December 20, will be rolled out in stages during the coming year.

Restaurant KitchenThe department has been developing the plan, which will centralize and standardize the inspection process,  since February. “In February, we took aggressive steps to begin assessing our processes and implemented a pilot project in the field that would improve performance and productivity, with real-time measurements to evaluate how we are doing,”  said Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary J.T. Lane. “Through our work with Lean Six Sigma, which is a business strategy designed to increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness, we’ve developed a data-driven approach to make our health inspection program one of the strongest in the country.”

The goal of the plan is to maximize the productivity of the state health inspectors, who conduct more than 69,500 inspections each year, and  to standardize operations, according to the announcement. “In the nine parishes that were part of the pilot for this program, on average, productivity more than doubled, and past due inspections decreased by 33 to 44 percent”

One key part of the plan  will be to have a scheduler and a daily meeting followed up with an action plan . This should help health inspectors better track food inspections and prioritize accordingly.

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