ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health will review its food vendor policy to discourage last-minute inspection requests.
The board last week decided to review the food truck policy and perhaps craft a new one that limits last-minute inspections.
"I am willing to do as much as I can for these people when I can do it," Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Romaniak said. "If I don't have time or can't do it I just can't do it ... I just want to make everybody happy."
Romaniak said, ideally, he would like to see inspection forms a week before the actual event but often times those running the event ask the vendors to come last minute.
"They realize they only have one vendor or someone backed out of the event, so they call up a few people they may know," he said. "They still have to get the permit but there are only a few days ... I hate to turn them away when we are the ones asking them to come."
Board member David Rhoads suggested that the board learn how to do these inspections to help accommodate these last-minute requests, however, board member Bruce Shepley said he thought both the event planners and vendors should be more responsible.
"When else in life is there no expectation? You have to hold yourself to some expectation when you are getting a license or paying a bill," he said. "The organizer has a responsibility to make sure all of the T's are crossed and the I's dotted as do the vendors."
Rhoads suggested reviewing the town facility use request process and forms and perhaps inserting language that notifies event planners that food vendors need to be processed a week beforehand.
He suggested a policy that only guarantees application review if the proper paperwork is filed five days before the event.
The board will take up the issue at a future meeting.
In other business, the board heard a complaint from resident James Daunais, who had concerns about uncovered trash bins.
"We have so many trash containers all down the street in this town some of them have no lids on them whatsoever," he said. "They have plastic bags poking out of them we are going to have a huge population of mice and rats in this town feeding off of all this garbage."
Shepley said there are a few repeat offenders whom the board has dealt with, but he did not see it as a townwide problem.
He asked Daunais to notify the board if he notices any problem areas.
"We address complaints as they come in and I think it is unfair to state that they are everywhere because that is not true," Shepley said. "I can go on almost every street in Adams and not find an open container."
Daunais said he thought the Upton Street area was a problem.
Romaniak also reviewed some current cases and noted that during the recent high temperatures the air-conditioning system broke at Dunkin' Donuts.
"The unit broke so I let them put fans in and open the doors," he said. "I know that's not legal, but it was just too hot for them to work ... the owner did whatever they could."
Romaniak said he could not force the establishment to close unless the temperature was affecting the food.
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