CENTRAL FLORIDA - Dozens of grocery stores and convenience stores across Central Florida are going more than a year between inspections.
9 Investigates discovered more than 45 stores haven’t been inspected in at least a year, with some going almost two years between inspections.
Inspections in Florida area carried out by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Food Safety. However, according to the department, there is no set time interval for inspections.
“The department employs a risk-based approach to grocery store inspections, which takes into account what kind of food processing or preparation is taking place, consumer complaints” a department spokesperson wrote in an email to 9 Investigates.
State leaders say that hands-off approach by the Department of Agriculture is alarming.
“You have to have professionals going in and looking to see if the products are being handled correctly,” said Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando. “This is unsafe and if you (Department of Agriculture) need to hire more people, go ahead and hire the people you need, the Legislature will support you.”
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