Could higher salaries help ease shortage of restaurant inspectors in the county?
In the United States, one result of the Pittsburgh region’s historically low unemployment rate has been less help in restaurant kitchens — not preparing meals, but inspecting them.
The Allegheny County Health Department last week acknowledged that a manpower shortage is making it hard to keep up with annual restaurant inspections.
That has meant that numerous busy restaurants and other large food venues aren’t getting their usual check-ups.
“It simply is difficult to retain our inspectors when there are other often better-paying positions out there,” said Lee Harrison, a physician and chairman of the Allegheny County Board of Health, which keeps tabs on the health department. “In the last few years, the unemployment rate has been so low, it’s been tough to fill the spots.”