Four state sanitarians cover nine counties
Restaurant health inspections likely to be infrequent
By GEOFF DAVIDIAN
SHOREWOOD, Wis. (May 12, 2004) -- Greg Jach, the Village Health Department's restaurant inspector, retired last month after 22 years checking for flies, rats and cooks who don't wash their hands in area restaurants. But while he's gone the complaints are likely to continue, dumping the Village's load on the state's already strained inspection team.
Between Jan. 1, 2003 and May 12, 2004, Shorewood Health Department received 11 citizen complaints of unhealthy conditions at Village restaurants in addition to routine calls to each one each year.
While 90% of such reports turn out to be "not based on reality," state Public Health Sanitarian Joe Steren says citizen complaints get first priority, stretching inspectors thin over the area. Steren says four inspectors cover a nine-county area, and some restaurants go a couple of years without a visit.
"A few restaurants need a visit every day, and a few never need one," he says. "We go to the ones that need it more frequently."
Here are the citizen complaints on file with the Shorewood Health Department since Jan. 1, 2003.