PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - City records show that nearly 80 percent of the restaurants that Portland inspected in the past year failed because of health code violations.
Portland hired its first health inspector devoted to restaurants in August 2011. Since then, inspector Michele Sturgeon has inspected 49 restaurants and failed 39.
Six failed initial follow-up inspections and three failed multiple follow-ups.
The city has about 800 eating establishments.
The Portland Press Herald obtained copies of inspection reports through a Freedom of Access request filed in August, weeks before the city shut down three restaurants for violations that included a "rat infestation."
Sturgeon said she isn't surprised by the failure rate because of a lack of understanding about state food codes.
Common violations include lack of cleanliness, improper storage of utensils and moldy ice machines.
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