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Archive for Tuesday, May 6, 2008

County begins food inspections for state

Change in duties part of local goal to diversify services

Andrew Stull, an environmental health specialist for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, conducts a food inspection in 2008 in the cafeteria at Woodlawn School, 508 Elm St. The county health department is losing its contract with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to provide food operation inspections. Stull will remain employed at the health department and conduct other inspections. But, two other longtime employees will lose their jobs as a result of the contract cut, which goes into effect Jan. 9, 2010.

Andrew Stull, an environmental health specialist for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, conducts a food inspection in 2008 in the cafeteria at Woodlawn School, 508 Elm St. The county health department is losing its contract with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to provide food operation inspections. Stull will remain employed at the health department and conduct other inspections. But, two other longtime employees will lose their jobs as a result of the contract cut, which goes into effect Jan. 9, 2010.

May 6, 2008

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The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is now conducting food service inspections for the state.

One food inspector began his duties late last week and a second inspector is in training, said Richard Ziesenis, environmental health director who oversees sanitation code inspectors. They will be responsible for routine inspections of about 430 food establishments in the county, including restaurants, schools, convenience stores, caterers and mobile vendors. State law requires an annual inspection.

"Our goal is to inspect them twice," Ziesenis said. "Also, we will check any complaints we get in addition to those inspections."

Andrew Stull is the department's first inspector, and he will be joined in a few weeks by Marilyn Peeter. Both have been among four sanitation code inspectors.

Planning for food inspections has been under way for several months.

"Restaurant inspections are a vital and widely recognized public health function, and we are committed to providing a level of service that meets the high standards of the public and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment," Lawrence-Douglas County department director Dan Partridge said.

KDHE now contracts with eight counties for food inspections. Food establishments pay a $200 annual operations fee, and under the state contract Douglas County will receive 80 percent of the fees collected in the county. The remaining 20 percent will go to the state for administrative duties. The inspections will bring the health department about $68,800.

County inspectors will report their findings about complaints to KDHE, which will then decide what action to take.

Taking on food inspection duties is part of the health department's strategic plan to diversify its services and expand into an essential area of public health, Partridge said. Two sanitation inspectors could be assigned to food inspections because of the economic downturn in the housing and real estate markets, Partridge and Ziesenis said. County building permits are down 15 percent.

Sanitation inspectors also check environmental complaints such as water and air pollution.

On Oct. 1 food inspection services will be transferred from KDHE to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, KDHE food protection director Angela Kohls said. County contracts are transferable.

Comments

booze_buds_03 6 years, 7 months ago

Quintons is pretty disgusting too. They wipe their spatulas on the trash can to clean them. The exhaust duct in the kitchen is broken, so the whole kitchen fills with nasty smoke. The meat counter is never at the right temperature, always too warm. Fruit flies everywhere and rotting food in the refrigerators.

Marty_Ackerman 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to second Quinton's. If you look back there, the floor is just concrete, waters dripping everywhere, the walls are disgusting, bugs of all sorts. Lets not forget about the habit of the bartenders to piss into the drain in the kitchen so they don't have to go to the bathroom. Nothing is ever clean, anything that is even attempted to be cleaned is done in the most half ass manner you can imagine. It's amazing that place hasn't gotten a citation.

Sigmund 6 years, 7 months ago

Will the city inspectors be using the "empTy" to do their duties? If not, why not? Think of all the dollars the city can save! In fact, all city employees should be required to use the "empTy."

Sigmund 6 years, 7 months ago

Times up! Because for city employees like the vast majority of Lawrencian's, the "empTy" is a huge waste of time and driving a car is much more cost effective, productive, and dependable. As a bonus modern cars with a single rider are better for the environment unless they are close to full, which I have never personally seen, use less fossil fuel per passenger mile than any of the current "empTy" buses. The only good thing I can say about "empTy" is that it doesn't use ethanol and is not starving a third world nation.

Sigmund 6 years, 7 months ago

Should be ... Times up! Because for city employees, just like the vast majority of Lawrencian's, the "empTy" is a huge waste of time and driving a car is much more cost effective, productive, and dependable. As a bonus modern cars with a single rider are better for the environment than "empTy" buses unless they are close to full, which I have never personally witnessed, because they use less fossil fuel per passenger mile. The only good thing I can say about "empTy" is that they don't use ethanol and therefore are not starving a third world nation.

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