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Andi Goddeyne does communication work for the MCHD Consumer Protection team.
She has been shadowing our inspectors to give residents an inside look into what they do.

This blog is part of a monthly installment from our Consumer Protection Team.

My name is Andi Goddeyne and I do communication work with
the Consumer Protection team at Mesa County Health Department. As a learning
exercise, I followed each inspector on a total of five inspections.
To say it was a learning experience would be an
understatement.
I, like most people, envisioned inspections to be a little
stuffy and inspectors as the “bad cop.” I was pleasantly surprised to see healthy
professional relationships and open conversations instead of silent observations.
Aside from the occasional oral quiz question, business staff
and inspectors really talked and listened to one another. So much of the visits
are spent conversing and learning, and much less about focusing on wrongdoings. Each
inspection had an ease to it.
Inspections usually start with temperature checks, both food
and refrigerators. It seems to be the driving force, as keeping food out of the
danger zone is critical. However, it
isn’t ever cut and dry
. Every scenario is different. It’s about assessing
areas of risk and serving safe food.
Our team wants to observe and evaluate a facility’s
procedures while talking to them about safe practices, meaning the hustle and
bustle of lunch rush isn’t ideal for inspections. Inspectors never want to hinder
business. I also noticed employees relaxed when they didn’t feel rushed, which assists
in evaluating their practices.
Often times, we found that businesses had made improvements
since their last routine inspection and were proud to say their practices met
requirements. These were prime examples of education
being implemented and paying off for local businesses
.
We want facilities to serve safe food and succeed. The
notion isn’t that facilities will never make a mistake. The goal is to learn
from mistakes and educate staff on why it’s important to follow the regulations.
We want to be a resource to the public, and that includes retail food
establishments.

We are building relationships and in turn, building a
healthier community.