The Denver Department of Environmental Health is responsible for inspecting over 3,500 brick-and-mortar food establishments -- as well as mobile food trucks and events. Some restaurateurs think that the department went too far in recent years, when the fines assessed eateries soared. And after a year of discussions between health department officials, restaurateurs and food industry experts, on January 1 the city introduced a new timeline for inspections, and a reduced schedules of fines.
But one reader thinks that's just the start of what should be done to protect the public health....
See also: - Check please! Keeping tabs on Denver's health-department inspection policy - Frank Bonanno admits he's a "dick" when it comes to court battles with the health department - Frank Bonanno asks: "Is it my fault someone stunk up the bathroom?"
This also highlights why restaurants should be required to provide sick leave and health benefits to their workers (in addition to increasing base wage to at least minimum wage). Passing norovirus (or other illnesses) will never be completely eliminated but we can certainly help minimize the risk if we make sure workers are not cooking or serving food when they are sick. Many of these workers cannot afford to stay home so they buck up and go to work.
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Would you pay more at restaurants knowing that it was going to health benefits for employees? Post your thoughts below -- or join the conversation already under way after Lori Midson's story.