"Nearly two-thirds of schools in New York state are not receiving the twice-yearly health inspections required by federal law to curb food poisoning, making the state among the nation's worst offenders," reports David Andreatta of the Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.). Inspection rates are lowest in Monroe County where nearly 80 percent of school cafeterias were not inspected twice during the 2006-2007 school year. Failure to comply with the mandated inspections could lead to schools losing their federal lunch program funding, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture is more concerned with encouraging compliance than penalizing the offending schools. Critics argue that it is an underfunded mandate, and more stringent than most state and local health inspection policies.
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