ROSWELL, Ga. — A restaurant owner is raising the alarm after realizing his establishment has not had a health inspection in a year-and-a-half. And it’s not just one location.
The Fulton County Public Health website shows many popular food spots along Canton Street in Roswell have not been inspected in over a year, either.
Daniel Dailey, owner of Johnny's Pizza on West Crossville Road, said he took a walk down Canton Street to see if his restaurant wasn't the only one that had not been inspected in a while.
“I went in and asked 'Hey how long has it been since you were last health inspected?' Some of them were like, 'We’ve been on high alert just waiting for the inspection to come.' Some of them were like, 'I haven’t seen anybody since last year,' some of them were like, 'I haven’t seen anybody in almost a year-and-a-half.'"
Dailey said the unannounced inspections are important to keep the industry in check, and keep customers healthy.
"We've been patiently waiting for a health inspection," he said. "I assumed that it wasn't just us that weren't getting inspected."
His restaurant was last inspected 18 months ago.
“Not all restaurants practice good safety in food and if that’s the case and there's no one double-checking or putting those safeguards in place, that can lead to some bad issues," he added. "I know there are some bad operators in there that won’t and don’t make any changes unless they’re told to."
The Fulton County Public Health inspection page shows it.
Records reveal some popular restaurants along Canton Street have not been inspected in over two years.
The Food and Drug Administration states restaurants should be randomly inspected at least once every six months to prevent foodborne illnesses.
"It's usually every three to six months," Dailey explained. "Nine at the worst."
11Alive reached out to Fulton County's Division of Environmental Health, which is in charge of inspecting Dailey’s restaurant as well as those along Canton Street.
In a statement, it tells us:
“The health and safety of the public in Fulton County is of paramount importance to all of us at the Fulton County Board of Health and a major part of the mission of the Environmental Health division. During the pandemic, the division had difficulties with manpower levels due to turnover as we also maintained the largest restaurant caseload in the state, with responsibilities for inspecting more than 7 thousand establishments countywide. FCBOH Environmental Health is working vigorously to tackle the ensuing backlog. We are aggressively hiring more inspectors and sending large numbers of them to specific territories to rectify the issue. As a result, we are working to get inspections completed as quickly as possible.”
Dailey guessed it had to do with staffing issues.
“I’m hoping worst case scenario this makes them get on top of their game and maybe they hire some new people to come out and get the job done," he said.