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Voice: Shocked that people in power asked inspectors to shirk duties

August 24, 2001

Yvonne Smith, Tom Wolf, Mark Johnston and their staff of the local Health Department are charged to enforce the California Uniform Retailer Restaurant Food Law. They are now being criticized by some for doing their job; they are also being summarily scoffed at for seeing that food that is offered to the public is protected, safe and not subject to any type of risk of toxic food bacteria contamination.

While it is true many local non-profit organizations depend upon annual or semi-annual events by selling food to support their cause, Tom Wolf, like me, is very concerned about the food prep areas where the food came from. Is it approved? And those who prepared the food, are they healthy? It goes on to methods of transportation and holding temperatures of both hot and cold foods prior to sale, etc.

The fly problem in the Imperial Valley is, has and will probably be with us from now on. Fly abatement works well with screening which keeps flies off of food, plus the soiled fingers of customers.

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I am really amazed that people in positions of responsibility would ask others to shirk their duties and "look the other way" when the possibility of a toxic food outbreak may be present. Now who is on the sanity or insanity side?

RICHARD A KING

(Retired registered health inspector,

35 years experience)

Ocotillo

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