Food Safety Inspections Results: A Comparison of Ethnic-Operated Restaurants to Non-Ethnic-Operated Restaurants

Kimberly J. Harris
Kevin Stephen Murphy, University of Central Florida
Robin B. DiPietro
Gretchen L. Rivera


This study examined the proposition that cultural differences between ethnic-operated restaurants in high tourism areas of the United States (US) compared to non-ethnic operated restaurants explains the differences in food safety and sanitation inspection scores in five US cities considered popular tourism destinations. It was hypothesized that ethnic-operated restaurants, composed of people from different cultural norms than that of the indigenous US population, would result in significantly higher rates of critical regulatory violations than non-ethnic-operated restaurants. Food safety inspection data was obtained from five cities in the west, mid-west, east and two from the south for the years 2009 and 2010. Results confirmed the hypotheses that ethnic-operated restaurants have significantly higher rates of inspection and critical violations. Implications for regulators, trainers, ethnic restaurants and organizations seeking to manage diversity are discussed.