A recent analysis has revealed that New Jersey holds the dubious distinction of having the dirtiest restaurants in the United States. According to data compiled from TripAdvisor reviews, New Jersey had an overwhelming number of complaints regarding restaurant cleanliness, far surpassing other states.

The study, conducted by Affordable Seating, analyzed reviews mentioning hygiene issues such as “dirty restaurant,” “rats,” “roaches” and “hair in food.” New Jersey led the pack with an astounding 320,520 complaints about dirty restaurants — 854 percent higher than the average across the Top 10 dirtiest states. New Jersey had 1,883 reviews mentioning hair in food and 810 complaints about rats and roaches.

Following New Jersey, Florida and California were the next states with significant cleanliness issues. Florida had 4,560 complaints about dirty restaurants and 636 mentions of rats and roaches. California, while having fewer complaints about dirty restaurants, 3,332, had the highest number of complaints about rodents, with 960 reviews mentioning rats and roaches.

Top ten states with dirtiest restaurants

  1. New Jersey
    • Dirty Restaurant: 320,520 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 1,883 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 810 reviews
  2. Florida
    • Dirty Restaurant: 4,560 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 1,691 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 636 reviews
  3. California
    • Dirty Restaurant: 3,332 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 1,731 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 960 reviews
  4. Arizona
    • Dirty Restaurant: 1,759 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 639 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 443 reviews
  5. Texas
    • Dirty Restaurant: 1,068 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 471 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 232 reviews
  6. Louisiana
    • Dirty Restaurant: 951 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 412 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 399 reviews
  7. Alabama
    • Dirty Restaurant: 918 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 404 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 141 reviews
  8. Maryland
    • Dirty Restaurant: 884 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 436 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 201 reviews
  9. Nevada
    • Dirty Restaurant: 881 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 579 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 414 reviews
  10. Georgia
    • Dirty Restaurant: 856 reviews
    • Hair in Food: 375 reviews
    • Rats and Roaches: 216 reviews

Using Food Safety News Restaurant Inspections Directory
To help consumers make informed decisions about where to eat, Food Safety News has created a Restaurant Inspections directory tool. Local public health departments regularly inspect food establishments to ensure compliance with food safety regulations. These inspections aim to prevent contamination from food handlers, cross-contamination, and other sources.

Environmental health inspectors check for several key safeguards, such as ensuring employees wash their hands properly, utensils and surfaces are sanitized, and pests are absent. Inspection reports can be accessed through local health departments or online, providing valuable insights into the cleanliness of restaurants.

Food Safety News has compiled a comprehensive list of available online inspection records, which consumers can access to find inspection reports in their area. The directory is continuously updated based on reader input, and contributions of new sources are encouraged.

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