Carson City reevaluating health inspection process
Carson City is reevaluating its procedures for inspecting the city’s food establishments.
On Thursday, the Board of Supervisors, convened as the Board of Health, directed Health and Human Services (HHS) staff to look at possible revisions to the forms and process used by health inspectors, changes to municipal code and moving to a grading card system.
The possible changes come on the heels of an issue with the Cracker Box.
In a letter to the editor of the Nevada Appeal, Jerry Massad, the diner’s owner, said mice were detected after an expansion to the building left small, undetected openings which resulted in a low inspection score in April. The problem was dealt with within a day, wrote Massad, and the diner received a score of 98 on its next inspection.
But, in the meantime, the first inspection score was published in the newspaper. The second inspection published week later.
“Don’t publish the inspection until the re-inspection is done,” said Supervisor Karen Abowd during discussion of the agenda item, who later suggested the two inspections be published at the same time. “No one is in the business to poison anyone. Health and public safety is foremost.”
Charlie Abowd, chef and owner, Adele’s Cafe, along with Supervisor Abowd, spoke during public comment, recounting an inspection in which a leak in the restaurant’s dishwasher line was found. It was repaired on site before the inspector left and the dishes rewashed, but it was still recorded and published as a violation in the inspection, said Abowd.
“Instead of being proactive, we’ve gone to being reactive and punitive,” said Charlie Abowd.
He described the procedure in Washoe County as proactive, with a goal of educating restaurant workers and resolving problems as quickly as possible.
Also, a two-page inspection form used there lets restaurant managers add their comments to each inspection.
“I try to encourage my inspectors to be educators before being regulators but at some point you have to be a regulator, too,” said Dustin Boothe, division manager, HHS.
Boothe, during his presentation, recommended updating Carson City municipal code to require at least one certified food manager on premises during operating hours, to establish a fee, enhance the process for regrading and to move to a grading card system.
“People like to see the cards in the window,” said Mayor Bob Crowell.
Boothe said in 2016 the department conducted 620 scored inspections and the average score was 97, giving 86 percent a AA grade.
The supervisors were supposed to vote on a negotiated water rate agreement with the Town of Minden, but the item was pulled because it did not include the dollar amount of the contract.
This week the Nevada Attorney General’s office said the Reno City Council violated the state’s open meeting laws when it voted on a subsidy to the developer of the former Park Lane Mall site to offset a $7 million sewer connection fee, but did not include the $3.5 million figure in its agenda item.
In other action, the board interviewed three candidates for two positions on the Planning Commission and appointed Candace Stowell and decided to leave the second spot vacant and open it again for additional applications.
The supervisors approved from the redevelopment fund $10,000 for an outdoor projector, $10,000 for the Carson City Fair, and $37,800 for special events including the Advocates for Domestic Violence fundraiser, Taste of Downtown, and the Brewery Arts Center’s summer concert series.
From that same fund the board approved $1,165,000 for other events, including the downtown farmer’s market, and incentives, including a reimbursement to the general fund for $480,000 for Michael Hohl, Inc. auto dealer and $170,000 to Richard Campagni auto dealership.
At the start of the meeting, Darren Schulz, director, Public Works, received the American Public Works Association national 2017 Top Ten Public Works Leaders award given out annually to 10 public works directors.
“We’ve done some major public works projects here in Carson City. They’re not easy to do, but Darren makes it look easy,” said Crowell.
Schulz, later in the meeting, introduced Dan Stucky, the city’s new engineer, who replaces Danny Rotter, who recently went to work for Truckee Meadows Water Authority.