An investigation by NBC 5 in Dallas found that 241 restaurants in the city had not been inspected since 2009, despite a local Code Compliance Division policy to inspect restaurants twice a year.
One reason given for the lapse was that Dallas had 23 restaurant inspectors two years ago, and today has 13 people to inspect more than 6,000 restaurants.
The NBC 5 investigation found a similar situation in Fort Worth, where budget cuts have left the city with 13 people inspecting 2,100 restaurants, as well as food trucks, special events that serve food and public swimming pools.
Although neither city has received reports of illness associated with restaurants that were not inspected, the station’s reporters note that most cases of foodborne illness are not reported. Typically, the ill person does not seek medical help or medical care providers do not collect a stool specimen that could confirm a specific cause of the illness.
According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, one out of every six people gets sick each year from foodborne illness.