You expect the food you eat at a hospital to be safe… but in Florida there’s no one checking it out to make sure.
The legislature took away the Department of Health’s authority to inspect kitchens in facilities that care for the sick and vulnerable… Now Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Daycares have no where to turn to have their kitchens deemed safe.
Pam Davis can’t even open the kitchen in her new day care because she can’t get the initial seal of approval. “I have to have my kitchen inspected and there’s no one here to inspect it.”
Jim Croteau, operates a Meals-on-Wheels Kitchen. His mixers and stoves will continue to get inspected by DOH. He says the new rules are just a big mixup. “There’s confusion in the statute and the people who wrote it were trying to accomplish one thing, but in that effort they came up making it a little more complicated that it needed to be.”
The legislature’s intent was to make kitchen inspections cheaper and easier or to scale back the state’s authority, depending on who you talk to.
The Department of Health isn’t answering questions about the changes. They’ll only say they’re following the will of the legislature.”
The Department of Children and Families is working with legislative staff to look for a way to fix the problem.
DCF Secretary George Sheldon says, “Generally anytime there’s something like this that happens, if reasonable people get together, put their heads together, they can resolve it.”
Also at stake is millions of federal dollars that won’t be distributed to these facilities if they’re not inspected.