In most major cities, health departments inspect restaurants once a year.

In Philadelphia, inspections have lagged far behind. Eateries get the once over every 15 to 16 months, if that.

Mayor Kenney's tentative new budget, released Thursday, proposes the City put its money where its mouth is.

Kenney proposes spending  an additional $1 million a year to hire 15 more restaurant inspectors. That would bring the total number of enforcers to about 45.

Inspectors, officially called sanitarians, scrutinize business for potential risks for food-borne illnesses. They also enforce food-related ordinances, regulate handling practices, and educate kitchen staff about the risks of foodborne illness.

The added staff  "will result in more frequent restaurant and food establishment inspections in the short term and a reduction in foodborne illness over the longer term," according to Kenney's five-year plan.

"This investment, which is fully offset by revenue generated from fees, would reduce the number of months between food establishment inspections from 15.3 to 12 months."

The budget also calls for five more supervisors.

"This will increase the number of inspections we can complete, enabling us to inspect every food service establishment at least once per year," said Commissioner Thomas Farley of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

For more information about restaurant inspections and current eatery violations, visit the Inquirer's Clean Plates website.