The Good, Bad, and Ugly Texas edition

An audit investigation of the Austin Public Health Department reveals inspectors napping, shopping, and taking extended breaks. Unfortunately things like this happen and without proper management and effective leadership, things like this will continue to happen.
Disappointing when the actions of a few inspectors tarnish the reputation of others who actually take pride in the work they do and have an ethical, moral backbone. When I first started as an inspector, I recall hearing a number of stories of bribery on the job and other ridiculous things. Like any profession, you have the good, bad, and ugly.

David Barer of KXAN writes
Austin Public Health’s Environmental Services Division, which conducts restaurant inspections among other duties, “wasted city resources as a result of grossly inefficient practices and procedures,” according to the audit.
Auditors also found three environmental health officers wasted time while on the city clock, and two “may have attempted to conceal their misuses on their inspection reports.”
Environmental health officers spend a majority of their time in the field with “limited oversight,” according to the report. Inspectors had no set list of daily inspections; rather, inspectors chose to inspect whichever restaurant was due, and officers were not required to notify supervisors ahead of inspections or check in before or after they were conducted, auditors found.
Investigators said they found several instances of officers saying their inspections took place at times that did not square with what the auditors observed.
According to the report, supervisors were only conducting a “supervisory audit,” which is an in-person check of an officer’s inspection, on less than two percent of inspections. Despite concerns about officers wasting time, management did not regularly review or question how time was being used in the field.
· KXAN Investigation: Restaurant inspectors weren’t meeting inspection-rate standards.
Audit office investigators followed three environmental health officers inspectors during their daily routine and found inspectors napping, shopping and exercising, according to the report.
Investigators found one environmental health officer working out at a local gym for an hour and a half to two hours on at least two separate days. She also left work an hour early on one occasion. She “also may have attempted to conceal the misuse by misrepresenting the time in and out on her written inspection reports,” the audit states.
Another employee was observed napping in her car and misrepresented the times she went in and came out of a restaurant inspection, auditors said.

The rest of the story can be found here:


Lookism: Restaurants hide ugly diners up the back

We don’t go out to eat much anymore. It’s too expensive, too much of a hassle, and maybe we’re too ugly.

sorenne.amy.nov.15Restaurants deliberately allocate their best tables to their most attractive diners, an investigation has found.

Models posing as customers for a TV documentary were given “golden tables” in three top restaurants.

But those considered less attractive were seated at the back near kitchens or toilets.

And two restaurateurs admitted it was common practice. TV chef Simon Rimmer owns Greens in Manchester and Earle in Cheshire (both in the UK).

He said: “Every restaurant has a golden table where they sit the best looking customers. A restaurant’s clientele give off a certain message about the place.

“Good looking customers attract more people and make you more cash so you sit them where they can be seen.”

Faith-based food safety has run its course. I’d be more interested in the bugs being served rather than where I was seated.

Michelle Mazur, guest barfblogger: Gus, the World’s Ugliest Dog

Gus the dog is anything but a beauty queen, but on Saturday he won a contest for his looks.  The World’s Ugliest Dog of 2008 is a three-legged, one eyed, Chinese crested dog, named Gus.  The Chinese crested dog is a popular breed in the contest; in fact eleven of the seventeen contestants for this year are of this breed.  (See all there pictures here)

The World’s Ugliest Dog contest has taken place each year in Petaluma, California since 1976, and each year many people gather to look at faces of dogs that only a mother could love.  It’s kind of like a bad car wreck, these dogs are so disgustingly ugly, but you can’t look away.

There are numerous sites on the web that showcase photos of the cutest, cuddliest pets.  So why do people care about the ugly ones?  I suppose that just as beauty is celebrated throughout the media, it would be only fair to display the ugliness as well.  Many magazines at the checkout line in the grocery stores have photos of celebrities on the red carpet in all their glory, and they also have photos of celebrities looking their worst, without any makeup or fancy clothes.

American culture will continue to celebrate the cutest of the cute pets, but there will always be a special place in our hearts for those truly ugly dogs.