Foodborne illness, food inspection policy and restaurants in the U.S.

Anuja R Bedi, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objectives. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a literature review of research relating to foodborne illness, food inspection policy, and restaurants in the United States. Aim 1: To convey the public health importance of studying restaurant food inspection policies and suggest that more research is needed in this field, Aim 2: To conduct a systematic literature review of recent literature pertaining to this subject such that future researchers can understand the: (1) Public perception and expectations of restaurant food inspection policies; (2) Arguments in favor of a grade card policy; and, conversely; (3) Reasons why inspection policies may not work. Data/methods. This paper utilizes a systematic review format to review articles relating to food inspections and restaurants in the U.S. Eight articles were reviewed. Results. The resulting data from the literature provides no conclusive answer as to how, when, and in what method inspection policies should be carried out. The authors do, however, put forward varying solutions as to how to fix the problem of foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants. These solutions include the implementation of grade cards in restaurants and, conversely, a complete overhaul of the inspection policy system. Discussion. The literature on foodborne disease, food inspection policy, and restaurants in the U.S. is limited and varied. But, from the research that is available, we can see that two schools of thought exist. The first of these calls for the implementation of a grade card system, while the second proposes a reassessment and possible overhaul of the food inspection policy system. It is still unclear which of these methods would best slow the increase in foodborne disease transmission in the U.S. Conclusion. In order to arrive at solutions to the problem of foodborne disease transmission as it relates to restaurants in this country, we may need to look at literature from other countries and, subsequently, begin incremental changes in the way inspection policies are developed and enforced.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Bedi, Anuja R, "Foodborne illness, food inspection policy and restaurants in the U.S." (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1470207.