> Cause for Alarm? State of Oregon Falls Massively Behind in Food Safety Inspections - The Food Safety Company Cause for Alarm? State of Oregon Falls Massively Behind in Food Safety Inspections - The Food Safety Company
  • Latest News

    Thursday, 17 November 2016

    Cause for Alarm? State of Oregon Falls Massively Behind in Food Safety Inspections

    Img source: USDA 
    Food safety inspections are undeniably important. As a result of these expertly-conducted investigations we can go about or daily lives secure in the knowledge that a burger from the shop down the road isn’t going to kill us. Okay, so that’s a dramatic example, but the point remains.

    However, according to a recent audit conducted by Oregon’s Secretary of State’s office, nearly a quarter of all food business in Oregon are overdue for inspections. This amounts to some 2,841 companies that are at least 3 months past due, including everything from dairies to grocery stores.

    This is a concern for obvious reasons; if inspections aren’t taking place, how can we be sure that the establishment in question is following industry regulations, and is therefore a safe place to eat? To add to the problem, although businesses are automatically entered into a database once 3 months past their inspection date, the system does not log when businesses are added to the list, meaning there is no way to tell if the establishments in question are overdue by a matter of months or years.

    According to the audit, the main cause of this backlog seems to be a shortage of staff, coupled with a surge in the number of business requiring inspections. At present, the limited staff are also kept busy with other duties, further reducing the hours available to conduct inspections. Another problem highlighted by the audit is a high level of staff turnover, meaning institutional knowledge and expertise has been lost, while new staff require time and training to get fully up to speed. These various factors seem to have accumulated into something of a glaring issue for the state.

    The audit did however give some recommendations as to how the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the department responsible for the backlog of inspections, could go about correcting some of these issues. These recommendations include increasing staff levels and developing a succession plan for retiring inspectors. The ODA has also been advised to ‘reconsider some of its workload, provide more guidance to inspectors, and better track and analyse data to inform these decisions.’

    On the whole, these recommendations have been welcomed by industry professionals with open arms, but only time will tell if they can have any kind of substantial impact on Oregon’s growing backlog of inspections.


    Sam Bonson

    Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
    • Blogger Comments
    • Facebook Comments

    0 comments:

    Post a Comment

    Please leave your comments and we will post them as soon as possible

    Item Reviewed: Cause for Alarm? State of Oregon Falls Massively Behind in Food Safety Inspections Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Food Safety Co
    Scroll to Top