New law changes restaurant inspections

Violators will be checked more frequently

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - If you have you ever wondered if your favorite restaurant would pass a health inspection or how often they are actually inspected, Florida's cleanest restaurants are about to get a break from the state, while those in trouble will get closer scrutiny.

The thought of having bugs crawling around in the kitchen or on your food at your favorite restaurant may put chills down your spine, but a new law approved by Gov. Rick Scott will make sure restaurants with health issues are checked more often. Those which are clean will see fewer inspections.

"There's a lot of great things that have happened this year in regards to improving lives," Scott said.

Now, eateries with past health violations may be in trouble under the new law. 

"If they get more scrutiny, they get into enforcement cases, which probably means more fines, or perhaps license suspensions or revocations," said Geoff Luebkemann, of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Under the legislation, restaurants will have a year to adjust to the changing inspection schedule. The state will also have a year to decide how often restaurants will be inspected.

The current law makes sure every food business is inspected at least twice a year. The new law will allow a restaurant to be inspected as few as once, or up to four times a year.

The department currently has and retains the ability to go anytime they need to.

The new law will also take a closer look at high-priority violations like those that can cause food-borne illnesses.

If you're curious to see how clean your favorite restaurant is, you can go to

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