Just a quick note to let you know about another great sign I saw today. In front of Walmart, some folks had Puppies For Sale Full Bread. Makes you wonder sometimes! Best wishes, Bill Bowlby
Mrs. Action Line was shocked but not by the fact that our community has itinerant pet vendors.
It was that someone was offering dubious full bread puppies for sale when high-quality puppies were available nearby at the La Plata County Humane Society.
The shelter offers a fabulous selection of full bread dogs, Mrs. Action Line pointed out. The mutts are obviously seven grain because theres gotta be at least that many breeds in each.
And dont forget the older pupsters. They can be full bread, especially because mature dogs like to sleep a lot, thus they loaf.
We will dispense with any other wry (or rye) comments. Just some food for thought before Thanksgiving.
And you guessed it right. Action Line relishes puns, but selling puppies outside a shopping mall is a pet peeve.
A question arises every time I read results from the San Juan Basin Health Departments restaurant inspections. Two establishments (one in Durango and one in Bayfield) receive five to eight critical violations each time theyre inspected. Cant the agency be tougher on restaurants that have the same types of violations over and over (bare-hand food contact, not washing hands, no soap, etc.)? Whats the point of inspections if some places shape up while others continue the same unsafe practices? Concerned Diner
Theres good news and bad news when it comes to sanitary scofflaws.
The good news: Nearly all Southwest Colorado food establishments are clean and food-safety-minded.
The bad news: The law lacks teeth when it comes to immediate enforcement of routine food-safety laws.
If a restaurant inspector finds something like no soap or towels, those disgusting deficiencies must be corrected on the spot. But other vile violations must be addressed within 48 hours.
In the case of ongoing, multiple infractions, the local food federales will need to do additional inspections. Should the icky eatery flunk again, cuisine cops will issue written warnings. After that, its a fine.
Getting to the fine phase can take well more than three months, said Mike Meschke, environmental health director for San Juan Basin Health.
However, the department has the power to shut down skeevy dives on the spot if theres an outbreak of a foodborne illness or if there are basic infrastructure problems such as no running water, no refrigeration or overflowing sewage.
But lets not eschew chewing in public. With a few exceptions, our local restaurants are sanitary and the eats are darn good.
Eighty to 90 percent of food-safety violations are fixed promptly, said Meschke. We issue deadlines for corrections, do follow-up inspections and when an owner gets a $250 first-fine notice, he or she pays attention. Very few get to the fine stage.
But the most important thing is constant awareness, vigilance and education.
Enforcing food-safety laws is an everyday drill, he said.
To protect yourself, check out the health inspections report. The results appear in Mondays Health & Fitness section of this newspaper.
If theres a joint that cant seem to obey food-safety laws, just dont patronize the place and tell your friends about the gross goings-on.
When it comes to restaurants, theres nothing like the food court of public opinion to render a swift verdict.
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The Mea Culpa Mailbag has its first-ever visual contribution: a delightful cartoon from the talented Marta Bergen expanding upon last weeks column about the so-called Durango Dress, a clingy little overpriced sweater tube. Enjoy!
E-mail questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you wash your hands, wear a hair net and dont thaw chicken in a floor-mop bucket.