October 22, 2010
This week, Secretary Liem asked that I write to you in his weekly message. Since joining the DBPR team over a month ago, I have been impressed with the professionalism of the employees, and I have been eager to shadow one of our field staff to see firsthand how that professionalism extends past the walls of our buildings. On Monday, I had the opportunity to accompany one of our hotel and restaurant inspectors on an inspection of a local hotel that houses two restaurants.
When we arrived at the hotel the inspector introduced herself to the manager and began her work. She inspected all the common areas of the hotel and a handful of vacant guest rooms. The inspector walked the manager through the inspection process providing education and recommendations. I was most impressed with the inspector's attention to detail, especially considering our inspectors do five to six inspections a day.
Then we moved on to the hotel's two restaurants. The inspector took out her thermometer and began taking temperature readings of various foods. After each reading, the inspector would comment to the manager either providing praise for a good temperature or some advice on how to correct a problem. I was struck by the undivided attention the manager gave the inspector while she provided valuable suggestions on how the establishment could improve. It was clear to me that our restaurant licensees take food safety very seriously.
Like others here, I was truly impressed by the professionalism and expertise of our hotel and restaurant inspectors. There is a unique partnership between DBPR's inspectors and our licensees, the inspector and the business owner work together to protect the public and promote a successful business. We will continue to partner with hotels and restaurants to protect the public and support Florida's valuable hospitality industry.