Report: Batali installs alarms to deter food inspectors

Report: Batali installs alarms to deter food inspectors

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is reportedly adding hidden alarms in his nine New York City restaurants that alerts workers that health inspections have arrived so they can quickly throw out meals they're cooking.

According to the New York Post, a hostess will press a button that triggers a loud buzzer in the kitchen and allows the staff an opportunity to toss out what's on the stove or in the oven before the inspector enters.

Infractions often involve dishes being held at improper temperatures and food workers not following rules. Fines can top $5,000 per visit and result in a "B" or "C" grade.

City inspectors are targeting more restaurants than ever and fines have increased 180 percent since 2006, rising from $16 million to $45 million in 2012.

Critics say the crackdown is only meant to raise revenue.

Batali's partner denies that the alarm system exists.

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