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Health Inspector with a Camera

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Have any of you ever encountered a health inspector with a camera?

We have a new county health inspector. After several years of inspectors who quit their jobs before the year was even out AND after a pathetic county track record that allowed some area restaurants to evade inspection for several years, this new inspector appears to be making up for lost time.

We have already been graced with two visits this year. We've never had any problems. Word is now out from another establishment that he's headed back in our direction and that during his next visit, he'll be armed with a camera.

From what I've heard from restaurant owners and managers, he's taking pictures of all commercial kitchens to file in his office "for future reference."

Is this a common practice? Have any of you encountered inspectors who routinely snap digital photos of your kitchens?

I have NEVER had an inspector visit me three times in one year nor have I ever encountered one with a camera. This man is making me paranoid because I find myself thinking "What have I done wrong?"
post #2 of 17
city of
STL health dept is quarterly and they are regular.....the county was short inspectors and word was it was 1.5 years since restaurants had been inspected......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 17
In all of my years in the food business I have NEVER seen a health inspector carry a camera.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #4 of 17
Never seen one with a camera.
Ours carries a gun, as we are federally inspected.
Military uniform, gun.....nice guy though.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 17
I may prefer a gun over a camera. Somethings just arent sacred anymore....
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #6 of 17
I have no issue with guns, carry one myself most days.
I feel more ill at ease with a camera around than a gun.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #7 of 17
Bring on the camera's.... as long as you can keep your kitchen clean i dont see why its a big deal... i keep a camera in my kitchen at all times... i have often taken pictures of areas in my kitchen where i with help of others have cleaned and organized as a reminder of how that section NEEDS to look every day. some people are messy and unorganized and need constant reminders.
post #8 of 17
I believe the purpose of the camera is for his later protection should any matter go to court. If he saw roaches, rats or any other blatent violation, he could take a picture and prove it later. Sometimes it is your word against his. The pictures offer no dispute, I think it is a good idea and would make some of these places clean up their acts. :cool::cool:
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post #9 of 17
It's not.
Just unusual
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Rat ... what rat? That was no rat, that was a small, shifty eyed, and somewhat slovenly culinary student. Yes ... I know he's hairy. It makes him feel more macho given his size ... :)
post #11 of 17
Cameras? Yup. But not in N. America.

The inspectors in Switzerland are armed with cameras, and a whole briefcase of equipment. A regular checkup would include samples of "the usual suspects": pot. salad, hollandaise, mayo, ice cream, cold cuts off the slicer, etc. Each sample would be put in disposable containers, signed by the Chef/owner and the inspector, and then sent off to a lab. Bacteria counts over a certain level and you would get a phone call and be asked to pay for the lab tests. If you were under, no phone call, no pay.

IMHO health inspectors are just people, kinda like traffic cops. If you get caught speeding and you sweet talk your way out of it, fine, but pizz off the guy and he'll be down your throat for ever. In other words, make an honest and energetic attempt to keep clean, don't pizz him/her off and they'll won't be bugging you untill it's inspection time again.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 17
I wonder how much the bacteria counts grow from the time they are put into the disposable containers and the time they are tested...
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #13 of 17
Legaly you can keep them out of the kitchen.
1. according to most health depts. you cannott wear street clothes in kitchen, you can insist they wear a gown.
2. when they go to put thermometer in a product tell them they cant as yours is Kosher and they must use another thermometer
3. Every time they touch something, you can insist they wash their hands for fear of cross contamination
4. Offer them a cup of coffee or soda, if they take it you have them on the hook for accepting something gratis.
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post #14 of 17
oooooo EDDDDD.....you have done this before........got the routine down pat...work that system.

D.C you have made my day, funny guy.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
The health inspector paid a visit to the school cafeteria today. He was there for THREE HOURS ... but did not come to the culinary arts department or visit our attached student operated restaurant. I suspect that come tomorrow, we'll be under the microscope.

From what I've heard, the county health department has developed a greater sense of urgency in inspecting restaurants because a local establishment recently had a foodborne outbreak. All area restaurants have now been warned about the importance of frequent handwashing in preventing rotavirus.
post #16 of 17
Nope not those boys. Samples were scooped into disposable containers using the tools that a cook would normally use (ie ice cream scoop, ladles, etc.) Sample were put into a refrigerated picnic cooler that ran on rehargeable batteries/car cigarette lighter socket. Thermometers had little "condoms" or disposable sleeves that slid over the probe. This was the late '80's though, Kanton Luzern...

Those boys even had the little windmill measuring devices to check the required cf/m on the vent hoods. We got fined once or twice on that one...

The only health inspectors I could never figure out were the Singaporean ones. They approved my kitchen plans in principal for a large central commsionary kitchen, and when they came for their first pre-start-up inspection screamed at me that I didn't have 3 hr rated firewalls on the walkins and freezer and a thermo-hydrographs for each of them, AND a power washer available on the premises. The 3 hr walls really threw me a curve, as I had never dreamed to budget for something like that, the kitchen was on the 7th floor of an all-cement building. Got my hiney roasted when I prodded my begging bowl to the owners telling them I couldn't pass inspection untill I had 3 friggen hr rated walls around the coolers.......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #17 of 17
really funny, each health inspector wants different things.....
some shtuff like not having a triple sink was grandfathered in, we had to add a high temp dishwasher, grease trap....paint the walls....but the bathroom down the hall used by essentially me and any theatre goers on an irregular basis bugged one inspector we had to seal the cracked wall and some base board.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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