Sunday, August 1, 2010

No food inspections at hospitals, nursing homes

No one is inspecting food preparations at Florida's hospitals and nursing homes, nearly one month after the inspections were stopped in a budget-cutting move, officials said Friday.

The Department of Health said it's working with other agencies to figure out who will handle inspections at the state's 286 hospitals and 671 nursing homes. Meanwhile, the Department of Children and Families is temporarily taking over the inspection of day care centers, which were also part of the cuts.

The health department had been inspecting facilities four times a year until Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill (HB 5311) stopping them. Experts say people at these facilities are the most vulnerable for foodborne illnesses.

Crist spokesman Sterling Ivey said the agencies will work together until the Legislature can re-examine the cuts next year.

The health department inspected more than 15,000 day care centers last year, finding nearly 12,000 violations including food from unsafe sources, poor hygiene and contaminated equipment.

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