County hands over reins
State to conduct health inspections
Conducting health inspections at Moffat County restaurants and stores is again the responsibility of the state.
Building Inspector Pat Mosbey has been conducting the inspections for the past two years, but as of Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is in charge of the inspections.
State law requires restaurants and food retailers to be inspected every year.
The county took over the inspections so it could keep a closer eye on local restaurants and because officials hoped the inspections would be a source of revenue.
The inspections brought in just $7,000, but equaled a revenue loss because they took up so much of Mosbey’s time.
Mosbey estimates he did about 200 inspections each year.
The unannounced inspections, which check temperatures of food and cleanliness of kitchens, took Mosbey anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours, plus the time spent on paperwork.
“It will be good to be able to concentrate on building inspections,” Mosbey said.
Mosbey also is handling some of the planning department’s duties while the county searches for a new planner.
Patti Klocker, assistant director of the consumer protection division of CDPHE, said the state prefers counties to do the inspections themselves.
“They know the local flavor and know who to talk to,” she said.
Also, county inspectors can respond quicker than state inspectors.
The state inspectors are based in Denver, so they stay in Moffat County for a week and check multiple restaurants.
Diana Knez, co-owner of the O.P. Bar and Grill on Victory Way, said it doesn’t matter for her restaurant if the inspectors are from the state or the county.
“We don’t worry about inspections anymore,” she said.
Knez said state inspectors found violations at the O.P. when they cooked outside, but since moving the cooking operations inside, the restaurant hasn’t had any violations.
“I think the state tends to want things done that are ridiculous,” she said.
Mosbey was more understanding than state inspectors, Knez said.
“When you deal with a local, they make sure everything is done,” Knez said. “(Mosbey) checked everything just like the sate.”
Cathy Curtis, a waitress at the Golden Cavvy Restaurant and Lounge on Yampa Avenue, said there wasn’t much difference between county and state inspections.
“They just make sure everything is up to code,” she said.
Curtis, who has been at the Golden Cavvy for five years, said the only difference that jumps out is that Mosbey was more friendly than state inspectors.
Brandon Johansson can be reached at824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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