How often are restaurants checked by state inspectors?

Restaurant Report

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In this week's restaurant report, News4Jax took a look at how often restaurants are checked by the state and why.

Inspectors' visits are based on several things, including how many people have been sick because of violations.

Any establishments that serve food -- even vending machines -- get checked by state inspectors at least once a year. Those that qualify do not cook raw food or cook it, but do not cool or heat that food -- it's either served or thrown away if not used.

Then it goes to Level 2. These are establishments that cook and cool raw food and have a history of passing inspections. They are checked at least twice a year.

It gets more complicated when a restaurant has a history of repeated violations. Such restaurants will get checked a minimum of three times a year. 

If a restaurant has three or more failing inspections within two previous years, the restaurant will be checked more often.

Things get serious when a restaurant has a confirmed foodborne illness. If a restaurant has had that violation within the previous calendar year, inspectors will check it four times a year.

That's why, if you have a complaint about a restaurant, it's best to notify the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Establishments are subject to an inspection when someone files a valid formal complaint. You can do that by visiting

About the Author:

Anchor on The Morning Show team and reporter specializing on health issues.