Safety the issue when inspector comes around

Swimmer (file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Jeremy Long makes hundreds of inspections each year in his job as an environmental health specialist. His job is to make sure you don’t get sick because of certain outbreaks in places like public pools and restaurants.

His first stop this day was at South Meadows Middle School, where he checked the cafeteria.

He’s making sure the water is hot enough in commercial dishwashers, record books are properly kept and food is kept at the proper temperature — among other things.

Food thermometer (file)

Food thermometer (file)

“Whenever they’re doing dishes in a commercial facility they can either do it by hand in a three-compartment sink with a wash and a rinse and a sanitizer, or they can run it through commercial dish-wash machine which does those three steps automatically,” he said. “It’s kind of the same rationale for keeping hot food hot and below that danger zone where bacteria can grow.”

All was fine at the school.

There are 626 public swimming pools and spas in Washington County. The ones open only during the summer get one routine — unannounced — inspection, while the year-round pools get two.

At the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center, everything also checked out fine.

“The depth markers, the safety rules are listed inside the pool,” he said. “All of our ladders and ways of getting out of the pool are installed and in good shape.”

When there are violations found during an inspection, sometimes immediate correction is required. All of these inspections are available through county public records request.

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