• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

How does the Health Ministry’s restaurant inspection process work?

July 1, 2011

When consumers suspect that a restaurant or business does not meet sanitary requirements to operate, they may file a complaint with the Health Ministry branch nearest the establishment’s location.

Hugo Guevara, director of the ministry’s South Metropolitan branch, said complaints are kept confidential but not anonymous. Depending on their nature, complaints may be addressed immediately or put aside.

Usually health inspectors stick to a schedule of planned annual visits to verify restaurants are following health code standards; however, inspectors are prepared to address emergencies, Guevara said.

“If we detect a mass food poisoning, we immediately send a team to see what’s happening,” he said. “We do the same if we detect a sudden increase in the number of complaints filed against a specific business.”

Inspectors use several criteria to define whether businesses may continue operations despite health regulation violations. Authorities take into consideration the nature of the violations and whether the business is a repeat offender.

“Everything related to food preparation must be immaculate,” Guevara said. “Finding bugs in the kitchen is a severe violation that leads to an immediate shutdown of the place. However, if the walls are a little dirty or in need of new paint, these are minor infractions that the establishment may solve without having to stop operations.”

Guevara said restaurants often violate health regulations because the owners relax after a first successful inspection and then forget that “an inspector may arrive at any time.”

You may be interested

Caja asks government to impose new Covid measures
Costa Rica
4 views
Costa Rica
4 views

Caja asks government to impose new Covid measures

The Tico Times - May 10, 2021

The Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) made a “respectful and vehement call” to Costa…

Costa Rica gov. continues debating pandemic response
Costa Rica
10 views
Costa Rica
10 views

Costa Rica gov. continues debating pandemic response

The Tico Times - May 10, 2021

The Costa Rican government is meeting on Monday with various sectors to discuss its response to saturated hospitals and the…

Costa Rica’s tuna regulations affect dolphins and national fishermen
Fishing
21 views
Fishing
21 views

Costa Rica’s tuna regulations affect dolphins and national fishermen

Todd Staley - May 10, 2021

For more than two years, a couple of proposed laws have been floating in and out of the Costa Rican…