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Letter to the Editor: Food inspection very serious

St. George

Dear Editor,

Our State Legislators in their 1995 legislative session cut funding to the department of health which is over the food inspection in every business that sells food or drink products consumed by you, the general public.

At this time, by law, all of these food dispensing outlets are inspected twice a year. Southern Utah Health Department has two inspectors whose coverage area is Washington, Iron, Beaver, Garfield, and Kane counties, with a total population of 90,000. In 1995, there were 193 food dispensing facilities, which were inspected twice a year.

Case in point: Today there is, in Washington County alone, more than 116,000 population, an increase of more than 139 percent.

The five counties have over 600 food eating facilities, and still only two inspectors, who now inspect these food eateries every four years. I am certain the other four counties population has increased perhaps not as much as Washington, but to nearly 200,000. Still two food inspectors.

Our state legislators must increase the funding to the department of health for more food inspectors.

I hope they and their families do not become victims of e'coli, dysentery, diarrhea or hepatitis all transmitted by the improper handling of food in cafes, restaurants, and etc. With rapid increase in population growth our inspectors now inspect these food dispensing outlets every four years and some never.

These inspectors have cafes, restaurants, drive ins, service stations that dispense drinks and food, senior citizen dinners, hospital cafeterias and kitchens, school kitchens, rest homes and nursing homes and others, and to be included septic tanks and swimming pools. Still, all of our department of health districts have the same number of food inspectors the department had in 1995.

The food inspection of these food serving facilities in Utah is very, very, serious.

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