Restaurant Inspections

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El Paso County health inspectors are struggling to keep up with a growing number of restaurants in the fast-growing county.

Six inspectors are responsible for checking the county's 2,445 restaurants, school cafeterias and grocery delis from the Summit House atop Pikes Peak to the rural cafes of eastern El Paso County. Officials say at least four more inspectors are needed.

The Health Department is discussing plans to request money to hire additional workers, a proposal that would have to be approved by the five-member Board of Health, which oversees the department.

Debbie Polelli, the head of food safety for the Health Department, notes that the Food and Drug Administration says there should be one full-time inspector for every 280 to 320 inspections. Her inspectors handle about 400 establishments apiece.