This is Environmental Health Professionals Week in Kentucky. Fayette County Health Department inspectors review some 1,700 permitted establishments each year. Environmental Health Specialist Amy Sullivan says about 60 percent of the health department's reviews occur at restaurants. She says several are shut down every year. "Each year there are numerous establishments that do have to be closed for various reasons, whether it's not electricity or not have water," said Sullivan. "Often times we get reports of a sewage back up in the food preparation area."
Sullivan says, fortunately in recent years, the Lexington area has not seen any outbreaks related to food borne illnesses. In fact, Sullivan says such problems have been on the decline nationally. She says most area restaurants take the issue seriously. "For the most part, our establishments do really well with making sure that there's a food manager within the establishment; someone that really demonstrates knowledge and food safety principals and a lot of our establishments are really great at making sure their staff have proper training," added Sullivan.
Sullivan says the health department also reviews daycare kitchens, schools, and water quality in hotel pools. She says posted food inspection scores are well received by patrons and serve as an incentive for proper food safety standards.