Saturday, August 11, 2012

Five Health Inspectors Ride Herd On Over 1,700 Food Establishments In Anchorage, Alaska

On August 10th, 2012, KTVA Channel 11 aired a story about the Municipality of Anchorage's Health Inspection function. Five health inspectors are charged with the responsibility of inspecting over 1,700 food establishments in Anchorage; inspections take place at least once per year, and more frequently upon receipt of a complaint. All inspections are unannounced. Restaurants, supermarkets, seasonal snack shacks, and mobile food units are targeted. Because of the sheer volume of locations to be inspected, only 91 percent of food establishments received an annual inspection in 2011.

Janet Vietmeier, Deputy Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, reports a 71 percent compliance rate, which means an establishment is found to have two or fewer critical violations of the health code. The goal is 90 percent compliance. Typical violations include food stored at improper temperatures, dirty cutting boards and unsanitized cleaning rags, but there's an occasional problem with an employee who shows up to work sick and tries to work through it because the employer doesn't offer sick days. Many violations are corrected on the spot.

I would not have taken an interest in this story, except that someone posted a comment to KTVA asking for a link to the information. Behold, the link:

http://hhs.muni.org/fss/

This link is now included on my sidebar as "Anchorage Health Inspections" under the heading "Alaska Government Sites". Information about food establishments outside of the Municipality of Anchorage is located at the Alaska Division of Environmental Health website. According to a Juneau Empire story published in September 2008, state health inspectors inspect restaurants, schools, pools, tattoo parlors, piercing shops, barber shops, public showers and bathrooms, supermarkets, convenience stores, seafood processors whether floating or on land, and temporary food stalls at festivals.

1 comment:

  1. Every safety gadget and every law designed to "protect" only serves to limit our freedom for if a person is shielded from the consequences of his own stupidity, then he is nothing but a well cared for vegetable.

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