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Arlington County Civic Federation

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Adopted on November 12, 2002

A Joint Resolution from the Public Services Committee and the Environmental Affairs Committee in Support of Funding for Environmental Health Inspectors

Whereas, Arlington County accrues substantial revenues from its restaurant and related food preparation industries, from residents and tourists alike; the safety of food served to citizens is of paramount importance to the health of the general public as well as to confidence in the industry; and it is the responsibility of the Environmental Health Services of the Department of Human Services to regularly inspect food-serving establishments and events, to monitor, educate and enforce;

Whereas, the minimum Federal (FDA) recommended standard for inspections is 6 per year for Extremely High Risk Food establishments, 4 times per year for High Risk Food establishments, 3 per year for Medium Risk Food establishments and one per year for Low Risk Food establishments;

Whereas, Environmental Health Services has not had a budget increase since 1992 and has experienced an increase of over 350 regulated food establishments in that same period;

Whereas, Environmental Health Services has consequently fallen significantly behind in its inspection of establishments with the potential for food-borne illnesses (3.1/year - high risk establishments; 1.7/year for medium risk establishments - Source, FY 2003 Budget);

Whereas, there is documented evidence (Public Health Department) of a strong correlation between frequent unannounced inspections and higher levels of compliance;

Whereas, in the Spring of 2002, the County Board adopted the 2001 FDA model Food Code, prefaced by Dr. David Satcher: "The Nation's frontline of defense against the growing, evolving threat of food-borne diseases and illness is the uniform nationwide application of this food safety guidance and regulation";

Whereas, "Local Public Assistance Cost Allocation Plan" (LPACAP) funding in the amount of $11 million has become available to Arlington as a one-time allocation, and an additional $4 million in anticipated annual revenues will be directed annually to Arlington henceforth, funds that "must be used for human services; may not supplant other funding; and must be approved by the Virginia Department of Social Services) and that can be used for public health needs;

Be it resolved by the Arlington County Civic Federation that the County Manager and County Board should allocate a portion of these funds, contingency or other existing funds to fill three (3) additional FTE Environmental Health Specialists, the number necessary to bring Arlington to the level of minimum federal recommended standards.

ADOPTED, as amended: November 12, 2002

This page was last revised on: November 13, 2002.

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