The Sun Sentinel online is new reporting on state inspections of local South Florida dining spots. Each week, coverage of the results of a handful of restaurant and eatery inspections by state officials is reported.

Recently, the Sun Sentinel reported on the temporary closure of three South Florida restaurants for critical violations of state sanitation and safety laws. Emergency action by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation resulted in the closures. The Department can suspend an owner’s business license when violations are severe enough to pose an elevated risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public or employees.

Some of the critical violations at the businesses that were closed included the presence of roaches, severely soiled equipment and improper storage of foods. These are all frightening and disturbing violations that are certainly “critical.”

The fact that someone is at risk for harm simply by eating at a restaurant is a fact that’s hard to swallow for many Broward County residents. In reality, consumers and the public at large are at risk for personal injury in public places such as restaurants, hotels and shopping centers all the time. Fortunately, most of the time nobody is hurt due to property and business owners’ negligence.

Unfortunately, on occasion people are hurt due to the negligence of property owners. Throughout the county and in Ft. Lauderdale, slip and fall accidents are a serious fact of life for many. If you visit a restaurant, store or any one’s property in Ft. Lauderdale and slip and fall due to an unmarked wet floor or uneven floor surface, you may be entitled to monetary damages.

Hopefully the Sun Sentinel’s weekly reports will spur local restaurants and other businesses on to start taking health and safety violations seriously if they aren’t already. Meanwhile, if you’re injured in a Ft. Lauderdale slip and fall accident, contact a specialized attorney for help with exercising your legal rights.