Every day is different and interesting as we conduct food inspections, respond to changes in our assigned areas, respond to public reports about suspected foodborne illness, establishment cleanliness, and unwelcomed pests. We assist with food recall work ,attend food safety trainings and conferences, and provide education to food workers and the public. All of these efforts are to protect the public from foodborne illness.
The work schedule is generally 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday, but we conduct routine inspections on evenings and weekends too. There's a saying in this business -- foodborne illness doesn't take off the weekend! We inspect summer and holiday events including vendors at the Clark County Fair, holiday bazaars, and evening concerts at Clark County’s Sunlight Supply Amphitheater. We are especially busy at community events held on the Fourth of July!
Food safety inspections are the primary way we protect public health. When done improperly, washing, glove use, cooking temperatures and storage of raw meats are highly associated with foodborne illness outbreaks. During unscheduled routine inspections we focus on factors that are known to be associated with the spread of foodborne illness. During those inspections, we talk with food workers and operators about how the food safety requirements protect the public from illnesses.
When violations are observed during an inspection, additional follow-up inspections and probation inspections may be necessary. Occasionally issues persist and questionable food safety practices continue to be observed within an establishment. When this occurs, a temporary closure may result. When a business is closed, the operators and employees work to increase their overall understanding of the illness control measures and complete any required facility repairs.
Most often, food safety is taken seriously by all food workers in the industry. Most want to succeed by serving safe and appealing food. The public demand for fresh food served hot or cold goes hand in hand with food safety making for a “win-win” situation for all.