Local News

Jun 10, 2013 7:17 PM by Jessica Holley - jholley@kristv.com

Shortage of City-County Health Inspectors

CORPUS CHRISTI - Over the past few months, fewer restaurants and other facilities have been inspected by the City-County Health Department.

The numbers are lower because the Department is missing half of its inspectors.

So where does that leave the Corpus Christi's 3,900 restaurants?

"As your staff shrinks you have to prioritizes the criticality of what you're dealing with and we do the best we can to protect the public because that's why we are here," Dr. William Burgin, Jr., Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

While there is no city or state ordinance stating inspectors must visit kitchens on a regular schedule, the city of Corpus Christi attempts to make their visits quarterly. With too many locations for the three inspectors to keep up with, the City-County Health Department has turned their focus to places with complaints filed and previous low scores.

But the restaurants are not being penalized for inspectors missing quarterly check-ups.

"You know if you haven't got the personnel and you have to put if off a week or two you don't close down this restaurant that's done a beautiful job," says Dr. Burgin.

For the Childress family visiting from Houston, news of the shortage is alarming especially after just finishing lunch.

"You would like them to be out on regular basis inspecting the restaurants. We are from Houston so as Marvin Zindler always said 'there's slime in the ice machines.' So you know you need someone out there checking on that," says Jim Childress.

Still short three inspectors, the Health Department says they are actively recruiting for the open positions and have made already made a job offer to fill one of the vacancies.


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