While I’m a building inspector these days, I started my path toward this industry as a health department inspector.
I was sent to restaurants and diners in my county to look for health code violations.
While many of the food service companies in this area really care about their products and their customers who eat those products, I saw some of the most terrifying things in my life during my years as a health department inspector. You’d think that my worst stories would involve rats or cockroaches, but it’s the sort of food that people will leave in a walk-in fridge for two weeks before attempting to serve to paying customers that grossed me out the most. I became really jaded with my job one year when I made a huge fuss about a restaurant that nearly killed someone from a food poisoning incident. But that’s not what threw me over the edge, it’s that it was one of dozens of cases happening after I made my initial inspection and filed the appropriate paperwork with the county to shut them down. When they stayed open after the media frenzy, I concluded that there must be decisions being made behind closed doors for less than ethical reasons, so I joined the building inspection department as soon as an opening appeared. Now I inspect cracked concrete and exposed rebar tie wire on old condominium buildings to determine the safety levels of the structure and make recommendations afterward. I have seen some structures made with either galvanized or stainless steel rebar tie wire last much longer than they should given the salty conditions they are exposed to in this environment.