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Mon April 4, 2011
Health department asking for more food inspectors
By FLO JONIC
Providence, RI – The salmonella outbreak traced to tainted pastries from a Johnston bakery may ultimately result in enhanced public safety. Spurred by the case, the state health department is asking the legislature for more food inspectors.
Rhode Island businesses that prepare food for public consumption don't have to worry too much about surprise inspections from the state health department. The state has only 7 people to investigate 8,000 restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and bakeries.
That means an inspection every two years or more is not uncommon.
Could more frequent inspections have prevented the salmonella outbreak traced to pastries from DeFusco's bakery in Johnston?
Not necessarily, says Health Department spokeswoman Annemarie Beardsworth.
"I don't think that there's any way we would know that," she said. "If we had been out there 2, 3, 4 times the bottom line is we're not going to be there every single day."
The department is still concerned enough by the dozens of people sickened by salmonella that they're asking the legislature for more food inspectors.
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