One of the things that Buffalo and Western New York are extremely proud of is our food options. If you ask anyone, literally anyone, who used to live in Buffalo and moved away, what the number one thing they missed about the 716, I can almost guarantee you they say the food.

Food culture is a key claim to fame for the 716, which would lead many to think that we have some high-quality food establishments in the region. Now, while this is generally true, that does not mean that some establishments haven't had a bit of trouble keeping things top-notch.

With that in mind, we routinely hear about restaurants that receive violations from the Department of Health. It's not uncommon for a restaurant to be written up for something. Of course, those violations can be truly minor things like having food on the wrong storage shelf or major concerns like rodent and insect infestations.

To that end, WKBW-TV's I-Team recently completed a lengthy investigation into records from the Erie County Health Department, and the results are shocking.

Investigation Finds Several Restaurants Received Dozens of Violations In 2023

We know that the Erie County Health Department inspectors check in on local restaurants to ensure they are operating safely and healthily. When they run into a restaurant that isn't totally up to par, they try to truly work with them to make sure they have the opportunity to fix things and bring them up to code.

The Division of Environmental Health is charged with a wide variety of public health functions related to that mission including enforcement of State and Local laws related to food service establishments, public swimming pools and beaches, campgrounds, children's camps, mobile home parks, hotels and motels, community and non-community water systems, tattoo artists and shops, rooming houses and other facilities.
-Erie County Department of Health

According to WKBW, which spoke with health inspectors during its investigation, the ECDOH goes out of its way to ensure that restaurants are properly educated in the rules, regulations, and best practices for running a great eatery.

However, through the investigation, WKBW found 17 different restaurants that racked up at least 30 health violations, with one in particular racking up 60 violations.


We try to find any potential problems before they get to be an issue where someone’s gonna get sick... I wouldn’t tell anybody ‘stay home, restaurants in Erie County aren’t safe,’ because that’s simply not true...
-Greg Jacobs, Erie County Senior Public Health Sanitarian, speaking with WKBW

While some restaurants have fixed the issues and operate today without concern from the Department of Health, others aren't doing so well. The ECDOH says these reports don't mean you should not frequent an establishment, as they continuously work with the owner/operators to ensure they're safe. Senior Public Health Sanitarian Jacobs pointed out to WKBW that anybody can have a bad day, even in restaurants.

You can read WKBW's full report here. You can also review the health inspection records of any restaurant in Erie County Here.

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