BCHD reviews food ordinance changes

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Members of the Barry County Health Department's board of directors reviewed proposed changes to the Barry County Food Code ordinance, which will require permits for events such as the chili cook-off and mobile food units.

Board Chairman John Starchman stressed that the permitting process was not intended to make matters difficult for those who prepare and sell food at events.

"We just want to make sure that people are educated about preparing and handling food," Starchman said. "We want to guide them through their events safely."

Some of the revisions are no more than simple clarifications or definitions of previously cloudy ordinance language.

A few final corrections will be made to the draft and brought back for final review at the November meeting of the board.

In other business, the environmental department has had a busy month for September, permitting eight wastewater systems in the county and conducting 32 inspections of food facilities. Department personnel also inspected four daycare facilities and investigated nine wastewater complaints. A total of 20 water samples were also collected for testing.

The nursing staff also had a busy month, seeing 58 patients with chronic ailments, administering 55 tuberculosis tests and 28 pregnancy tests at the Cassville office. An additional 37 TB tests were conducted at the satellite office in Monett, along with an additional 22 pregnancy tests. A total of 158 immunizations were delivered at the clinics. A total of 517 clientsare enrolled in the Women, Infants and Childrens program in Monett, , while Cassville is seeing 474 clients in that program.

Service fees are up for the nearly 132 percent over the same time period for last year, totalling $4,782.05.

Health Department nurses and staff have conducted a number of educational programs throughout the county, including: tobacco-free campus education at Wheaton, Exeter and Purdy schools; TB skin testing of health careers classes at the Southwest Area Career Center in Monett; administration of flu vaccines at Countryside Residential Care Center in Monett; and meeting with Ozark Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Headstart families concerning lead testing for children's environments.

According to Carol Landstad, R.N., approximately half of the Health Department's shipment of flu vaccines remain, and she expressed confidence that there was no shortage.

Roger Brock, administrator for the Health Department, noted his activities for the month, which included attending an earthquake tabletop training exercise with other Barry County Emergency managers and personnel in Springfield and meeting with Cassville High School administrators concerning recall information on stadium light poles. According to Brock, the Cassville lights for the athletic fields are not a danger to athletes or the public.

Brock also reported little progress on a proposed cooperative effort with St. John's Hospital to conduct pre-natal classes from the Monett satellite office. Brock said the hospital staff indicated their preference to utilize the facility after closing hours, which he felt would compromise record safety at that location. St. John's representatives have plans to re-work the proposal to hold classes in late afternoon before the facility closes, but as yet, Brock has not had a follow-up meeting concerning the matter.

The next meeting of the Barry County Health Board will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 in Cassville.

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