An article from the Des Moines Register quoted business owners and state health officials who are at odds over how restaurant and other food service establishment inspections should be paid for. 

Iowa restaurants and grocery stores are, according to this story, being inspected about half as often as the law requires, and food inspectors are again begging lawmakers for money to beef up their efforts to prevent nasty food-borne illnesses.

Officials were cited as saying that violations that can cause illness – such as cockroaches contaminating work surfaces, or contagiously ill employees coughing on food, or bacteria growing on undercooked ground beef – are likely going unflagged because the state Department of Inspections and Appeals is short on inspectors.

The article includes perspectives from Dean Lerner, director of the Department of Inspections and Appeals, Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, Bradley Burt, president and chief executive of Maid-Rite Corp., and representatives from the Iowa Restaurant Association and Iowa Grocery Industry Association.