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San Francisco Restaurant Food Inspections Down

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Seared scallops with mango salad at Sociale restaurant. (credit: Joanne Boston)

Seared scallops with mango salad at Sociale restaurant. (credit: Joanne Boston)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — San Francisco health officials say restaurant inspections are lagging because of a lack of staff.

The San Francisco Health Department has 19 food inspectors instead of the 23 it is supposed to. Health officials tell the San Francisco Examiner that retirements and disciplinary problems have whittled down the staff.

The shortage means thousands of restaurants may only be getting one inspection a year, and eateries with problems may not be receiving follow-up visits.

All restaurants and food preparation facilities are supposed to be inspected twice a year, with those where significant problems have been identified getting a third visit.

Health department officials say they are trying to fill the vacancies, but it can take months to hire and train new inspectors.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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