Health Department To Consider Forming Food Advisory Group

May 6, 2015

The Allegheny County Board of Health met for a pre-scheduled meeting on Wednesday, a day after Allegheny County Council voted down a proposed food facility grading system.

The system would have posted letter grades outside of restaurants. Council voted against it 12-1. County Councilman John Palmiere, who represents District 6, was in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting. He was the only person on Council who voted in favor of the grading system.

“I just believe in inspections. I believe its good to have people inspect once in a while to keep everyone on their toes,” he said. “I think its just a good method for us to become aware of what’s going on in specific areas in restaurants and any business that serves the public.”

Palmiere owns a barber shop and says his experience there was among the contributing factors that led him to vote in favor of the grading system. He addressed the Board of Health on Wednesday.

The health department had spent a year and a half working on this proposal.

On Wednesday, they discussed reconvening the food advisory group, and their primary task, according to Karen Hacker, Director of the Health Department would be:

“How are we going to focus on those food providers that are consistently having problems in terms of enforcement.”

Hacker said she was disappointed in County Council’s decision.

Inspectors find at least one violation in about 20 percent of the county’s food facilities. Most of them are repeat offenders.