The city health department has cited a kosher restaurant as having violations because they found mice and insects crawling on the food in the kitchen. Since mice and insects are non-kosher, I'm curious if, typically, a mashgiach would also temporarily revoke the restaurant's hashgacha until the problem is corrected. If this is not being done, commonly, should this be done, halachically?
I spoke to someone who owns a kosher store. He gave me two viewpoints:
1 - Many health inspectors have egos. Sometimes, they cite things for violations that aren't actually there. Even if they do not want to wield their power, there are nuances between the itemized list that they must check on the violations sheet, and what actually exists. E.g. - the store owner was cited for not having cleaned his deep fryer. Of course not! The inspector came in the middle of the day while he was using the fryer.
2 - The hashgacha agency's responsibility is to supervise the kashrut only. If they were to look for health violations, that could detract from their focus on teh kashrut. The owner explained, "If your job is to analyze computer programs, would you want your boss asking you to do accounting, as well? It would detract from your computer analysis efforts."
I am willing to accept this store owner's analysis as the answer as to why mashgichim don't revoke hashgachot based on health violations. This does not mean that I tolerate the problems that, inevitably, can occur with this system. I would hope that if during the course of inspection, the mashgiach, himself, notes an obvious health problem, that these might be considered into the criteria, as I think that's the ethical and safe thing to do.