We haven’t seen a scandal like this in some time. City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office announced today that employee food safety certifications at 345 restaurants in the city and 183 outside are null and void after San Francisco Department of Public Health food inspectors gave exams in some less-than-professional ways. According to Herrera’s office and the DPH, “Food Safety Certifications had been issued to individuals who never actually took the examination. Other examinees were given the correct answers during the course of the exam, and in still other instances test materials and correct answers were shared with examinees before the test was administered.” Oops. The restaurants have 60 days to get re-certified for food safety. In case you were wondering which restaurants lost permits, Grub Street has the complete list below.
Health department spokeswoman Eileen Shields clarified that the questionable safe food handling certificates are issued to individuals who work in these restaurants after they take a course and a test on safe food handling practices. Some restaurants have more than one staffer who is certified in safe food handling, she pointed out, so not all the restaurants on this list [PDF] are operating outside the law. But some are.
Meanwhile, Herrera’s spokesman Matt Dorsey confirmed that the cases of the three inspectors thought to be behind this whole shenanigan (two have been fired, one has not, pending an ongoing investigation) have been shared with the District Attorney’s office to see about criminal charges.