An audit published earlier this week shows that nearly a third of foodservice establishments in Kansas were not given the early inspections, while others with persistent hygiene problems continued to run with worries over a potential fine.

The state inspection programme is severely understaffed and under-managed, the state auditors were quoted as writing in their report.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is responsible for making sure all of the state’s approximately 12,000 restaurants are inspected at least once a year. The audit round that the state’s foodservice inspection programme is inadequate to ensure that “significant violations of state laws and regulations will be found”.