Do health inspectors turn blind eye to ethnic restaurants?

It’s one of those things that has long been rumored but difficult to prove: do health inspectors go easy on ethnic food service places?

I was in the little Chinatown portion of Brisbane the other day, with about 40 restaurants crammed into a small strip mall; as a food safety observer, I saw all johnny-cash-fingersorts of things that wouldn’t pass inspection.

One of my health type colleagues says he’s heard similar rumors, but it’s difficult to validate. He says, look at inspection history, oh, and that politics definitely gets in the way. We all should be thankful for health types who give political influence the Johnny Cash salute.

In Seattle, reports that King County Health inspectors find some nasty things while looking for health code violations –like frozen chicken feet thawing in a filthy mop sink, raw chicken stored in a bucket underneath a dishwashing area or shrimp in a bin on a moldy floor.  But a source inside the Health Department tells KIRO 7 some of these violations are going unpunished.

A veteran King County Health Inspector, who didn’t want to be identified for fear of retaliation, said inspectors are often told to be “less strict” when inspecting some ethnic restaurants.

“There are a lot of decisions that are being made for political reasons, instead of public health reasons,” the anonymous source said.