PORTLAND, Me (NEWS CENTER)
Should Portland hire another health inspector? Some restaurant owners say yes after records who that 80 percent of restaurants inspected in the past year failed health inspections. Those records, from the Portland Press Herald, also show that the city is not meeting state requiremetns that inspections happen every two years.
Some of the violations that have led to failed inspections include lack of cleanliness, improper storage of utensils and moldy ice machines. Just last week, three waterfront restaurants were temporarily shut down for rat infestations. Two other restaurants that were inspected in the past year were deemed imminent health hazzards and were closed. Buffalo Wings-N-Things on Cumberland Avenue and Passage to India on Wharf Street, that restaurant has corrected the violations and has reopened.
City officials say the number of restaurants that Sturgeon has inspected last year has been low because she has had to spend time educating restaurants owners and aligning state health codes with city ordinances. Steve DiMillo of DiMillo's floating restaurant says having a full-time health inspector is long overdue. He says Sturgeon is overworked and the city needs to hire another inspector because there is too much at stake.
'Nothing could be worse than an outbreak for a restaurant because of poor food handling procedures that is not good for anybody,' said DiMillo.
City officials say hiring another inspector is something that is being discussed but it wouldn't happen until next year. The state requires that restaurants in the city be inspected every two years, the city hasn't accomplished that but is working towards that goal and the state is fully aware of the situation.