The Franklin County Health Department conducted inspections on all local lodging facilities and childcare businesses in 2011 and 2012, even though an insufficient number of food establishment inspections were done those years, an official said Monday.
The county’s 57 childcare facilities and 19 lodging establishments had to be inspected in order to get their annual licenses renewed, said Tony Buel, epidemiologist with the county health department.
In some cases, reinspections were required because problems were found, Buel added.
Inspections of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, are conducted annually by the state. There are 23 long-term care facilities in Franklin County, according to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website.
The Missourian recently reported that the Franklin County Health Department conducted an insufficient number of inspections on local food establishments in 2011 and 2012.
Buel said there was not a spike in food-borne illnesses in those years compared to years when full inspections were done.
Following is a breakdown of illnesses that were reported to the Franklin County Health Department for 2010 to 2012 and could have been food-related.
Salmonella, 2010, 13; 2011, 15; 2012, 16.
Campylobacter, 2010, 14; 2011, 14; 2012, 8;
Shigellosis, 2010, 3; 2011, 2; 2012, 0;
Giardia, 2010, 4; 2011, 8; 2012, 1;
Cryptosporidosis, 2010, 1; 2011, 3; 2012, 3;
E-coli, 2010, 3; 2011, 1; 2012, 4.
While those illnesses were reported to the Franklin County Health Department, it does not mean that the sickness was contracted locally, Buel said.
In fact, he said some of the people who got the illnesses those years were out of the country when they got sick.
When the county failed to conduct full inspections of food establishments in 2011 and 2012 there were between 460 to 500 food establishments in the county.
But there were only 186 inspections in 2011 and 386 in 2012, and the food establishments were supposed to be inspected at least once a year.
Buel said the same inspectors who handle food inspections for the county also inspect childcare facilities and lodging facilities.
County officials have said that a lack of funding to pay for additional inspectors contributed to the lack of food establishment inspections in 2011 and 2012.
The county now has one full-time and one part-time inspector, and there has been discussion of hiring another full-time inspector if funding can be found.