Add more field inspectors to protect the public 1024 – Pacific Daily News


Each year, inspectors visit thousands of restaurants and other eating establishments in New York state, checking temperatures, storage and sanitation procedures to ensure proper food safety practices. Amanda Renko / Staff video

More closures of food stalls at a shopping center food court highlight the need for the government of Guam to bolster the staff and resources for food inspection.

The four stalls at Guam Premier Outlets were closed after being inspected because of rodent or cockroach infestations, according to Public Health Chief Environmental Public Health Officer M. Thomas Nadeau.

Aji Ichi Japanese Restaurant, China Wok, Imperial Garden and Mongo Mongo were shut down. All other food stalls at the shopping center’s food court were inspected and received “A” grades.

The inspections at the food court were prompted by a complaint of possible rodent activity at China Wok. Inspectors found rodent activity at China Wok, Imperial Garden and Mongo Mongo. Aji Ichi was closed due to a roach infestation.

In June, seven food stalls at the Micronesia Mall food court were closed for health violations after a customer called to complain that a cockroach was found in food.

Public Health inspects restaurants and other food facilities, but not as frequently as required because it doesn’t have enough inspectors.  Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health, has just 10 field inspectors, but the agency has said it needs about 30 to do regular inspections.

What if those two complaints hadn’t been made? How many residents would have been exposed to potentially dangerous, contaminated food? How many would have gotten sick, maybe even have needed to visit a clinic or the hospital?

You can’t properly protect the public from food dangers without consistent and regular inspections. We can’t afford to rely on complaints to discover and shut down unsanitary food establishments on Guam.

If elected officials are serious about protecting the public, they need to look find ways to get Public Health an adequate number of field inspectors.



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