Douglas County Health Department Understaffed


WHEN WE GO TO A RESTAURANT– WE TRUST INSPECTORS HAVE CHECKED IT OUT– BUT JOE CHIODO LEARNED — SOME OF THE MOST POORLY RATED RESTAURANTS– HAVEN’T BEEN INSPECTED IN MORE THAN A YEAR. HE EXPLAINS WHY– IN A SPECIAL– RESTAURANT REPORT CARD. THE DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT – MAKES IT A GOAL – TO INSPECT EACH – HIGH RISK RESTAURANT IN THE METRO – ABOUT TWICE A YEAR. THOSE ARE RESTAURANTS – THAT SERVE FULL SIT DOWN MEALS. BUT AFTER GOING THROUGH REPORTS – WE’VE FOUND THAT HASN’T BEEN THE CASE – AS OF LATE. TAKE ORIENTAL GARDEN – OFF 76TH AND CASS — FOR EXAMPLE. THIS IS JUST ONE OF DOZENS OF RESTAURANTS IN ONE ZONE OF THE CITY- THAT’S INSPECTION IS OVERDUE. IN FACT – IT HASN’T BEEN INSPECTED – IN A YEAR AND A HALF – SINCE AUGUST OF 2013. SINCE FINDING 5 CRITICAL VIOLATIONS– AND GIVING THEM THE WORST POSSIBLE RATING- THE DEPARTMENT HASN’T BEEN BACK TO INSPECT. SO WE ASKED- WHATS THE DEAL? WOWT 6 NEWS HAS UNCOVERED — THE DEPARTMENT — IS UNDERSTAFFED. JOE GAUBE — THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT TOLD ME — THEY SHOULD HAVE A TOTAL OF 9 INSPECTORS – BUT SINCE NOVEMBER 2014 – THEY’VE BEEN OPERATING WITH 7. ONE PERSON RESIGNED – AND ONE WAS PROMOTED TO SUPERVISOR – THEY SIMPLY CAN’T KEEP UP WITH ALL THE RESTAURANTS. BUT THAT HAS THE CURRENT OWNER OF ORIENTAL BECAUSE THIS REPORT – WAS MADE UNDER OLD OWNERSHIP. THE CURRENT OWNER — TOLD ME OFF CAMERA — THAT HE TOOK OVER 5 MONTHS AGO — BUT BECAUSE THE INSPECTION IS OVERDUE — HE’S STUCK WITH A RATING — HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH. SO WHEN WILL A NEW INSPECTION HAPPEN? THE DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TOLD ME TONIGHT — “WE ARE TRYING OUR BEST TO KEEP UP. WE ARE GETTING TO EACH OVERDUE RESTAURANT IN A SPECIFIC ORDER — BASED OFF OF RISK.” I’M TOLD THEY HOPE TO GET TO RESTAURANTS LIKE ORIENTAL GARDEN– WITHIN SEVERAL WEEKS. JOHN– AND MALORIE– BACK TO YOU. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS ONLINE APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2 OPEN INSPECTOR POSITIONS — HAVE CLOSED. THEY PLAN TO BEGIN THE INTERVIEW

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