I’m a bit late to this too, but, as someone who actually bothers to look at San Francisco’s restaurant inspection scores, I just couldn’t resist: The Center for Science in the Public Interest has reviewed 10 years of records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify which states do a good job coping with outbreaks of food-borne illness. What’s more, they’ve given each state a letter grade for performance.
Unfortunately, 14 states received an F: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia. But, in the plus column, seven received an A: Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. And the great state of California, where Stanford is located, received a C.
The big picture isn’t pretty, according to the report (.pdf):
These findings suggest that many states lack adequate funding for public health services, leading to health departments that are overburdened and understaffed. The result is decreased outbreak investigation and detection and an incomplete picture of foodborne illness across the country. This paucity of information impedes efforts to prevent foodborne illnesses.
The report makes a number of recommendations to improve the situation, and urges state legislators to “consider the public health and economic toll of foodborne illness when making budget decisions, and. . .ensure that health departments are properly funded to carry out their critical public health mandates.”