Audit: Health inspectors go easy on restaurant violations

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A state audit says food safety inspectors in New York state failed to take action in response to hundreds of serious health violations.

The audit published Friday by Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli analyzed records of more than 400,000 inspections between 2014 and September 2017. Inspectors identified 984 Class I violations, the most serious type. Yet 73 percent of the violations resulted in no enforcement action.

According to the audit, the Capitol Region had the highest rate of critical violations.

Enforcement actions can include fines or even closure.

Auditors also found problems in how the data is reported.

Inspections are carried out by a mix of state and local health agencies.

Auditors recommended tougher responses to serious violations and improvements in record keeping.

In their response, state health officials agreed to review inspection policies but noted violations are often remedied at the time of the inspection.

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