A recent Rhode Island salmonella outbreak that sickened about 66 mostly elderly residents and killed two shined a spotlight on the state's understaffed Office of Food Protection, where seven inspectors must prioritize the task of ensuring food safety at 8,000 establishments. The Rhode Island Hospitality Association, concerned about the reputations of its member restaurants, has hired its own full-time inspector to perform "food safety audits," and the state is now evaluating staffing levels.

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