Mc Nelly Torres of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that nearly 2,500 restaurants in South Florida were cited for critical violations by state inspectors between July 2006 and January 2007. Since 1997, there has been a 66 percent increase in the number of confirmed food-borne illnesses tied to restaurants. "In December, the state issued disciplinary actions against 276 restaurants in the state -- 94 of them in South Florida -- and collected a total of $253,550 in fines, the Sun-Sentinel's analysis shows. South Florida's restaurants paid a total of $101,950 in fines." Included in the story is a database which allows readers to search the inspection records of South Florida restuarants.