Food safety professionals have discovered a new way of finding restaurants with unreported food poisoning outbreaks around New York in the United States. For those that do not know, Yelp is a website or an online app for your phone that acts as a online urban guide for local businesses. Users can write reviews and put ratings on the profile of the restaurants they visited. So how does such an app help food safety inspectors?
Professionals went through 300,000 reviews of restaurants on Yelp and discovered three unreported outbreaks of food poisoning around the city. Customers reviews were able to help food safety inspectors pin down offenders. The restaurants discovered had caused 16 cases of food poisoning,
People believe this new trend is great for the food safety departments. Head of the University of Georgia’s food safety centre, Mike Doyle, says its is a great way for the public to help in the fight for food safety in businesses. Since the general populace do not know how to contact the food safety departments, being able to comment on social media, such as Yelp, is a great starting point for food safety inspectors.
Traditionally, food safety inspectors relied on doctors and people calling the hotline if they discover an incident. With only 3000 calls a year and 1% of incidents panning out, the new incentive has been a lot more productive.
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