Rotarians learn about health inspections

SIDNEY — The Sidney Rotary Club heard from Rusty Schwepe, sanitarian for the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department, during a recent meeting.

Schwepe is one of five sanitarians who provide services in Shelby County. All five do all the required jobs in comparison to larger counties that have sanitarians who specialize. The Ohio Department of Health oversees the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department and the Sidney-Shelby County Board of Health.

Schwepe spoke of the inspections that the sanitarians undertake, starting with food inspections. There are 230 retail food services in the county, which are inspected two times a year. Mobile food service, like the vendors who come to the county fair or festivals, is inspected. Inspections also take place for temporary food licenses, which are issued to local entities that are serving at a local festival. They also do inspections of 88 food vending areas in the county and do plan reviews of building specifications for new and renovated food preparation facilities.

Commercial swimming pools are on the list for inspection. Shelby County has 22 at this time. Schwepe commented that the closed landfill and the current transfer station receive monthly inspections. The health department helps coordinate the Clean-Up Day, which is at two township sites in April of each year. The 11 manufactured-home parks in the county receive a yearly inspection. Public and private schools receive inspection twice a year, concentrating on safety and hazard mitigation. All body art, tattoo and body piercing establishments receive a yearly inspection.

In the arena of least frequent complaints is the smoke-free workplace. Last year, there were only four calls, which is way down from previous years when the law was first enacted. 2017 saw no rabies cases, and cases of bed bugs have declined. Most housing nuisance complaints revolve around squabbles between renters and owners.

The last duties that Schwepe commented on were the permitting of home sewage treatments and wells. Yearly inspections of aeration sewage systems of individual homes are done. State guidelines are followed in designing and installing home treatment systems. Schwepe concluded his presentation with some pictures of items that he has seen over the years and commented that “each day provides different situations that the health department addresses.”