HAMILTON, NJ -- The municipal Board of Health will convene Tuesday evening to tackle two pressing health issues affecting residents of Hamilton Township -- the recent confirmed cases of Legionnaires' Disease at the Alvin E. Gershen senior housing apartments and the reported lack of inspection of more than half of the Township's retail food establishments.
According to a local official who asked to remain anonymous, information compiled by Township officials on the inspections of Hamilton retail food establishments found that 332 of the 509 such businesses were not inspected in 2018. A review of the list obtained by TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville shows that the uninspected retail food establishments run the gamut from take-out restaurants to food stores to fine dining restaurants.
The body will also discuss the circumstances surrounding three cases of Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed at the Gershen senior apartments in the past 13 months.
The Mayo Clinic describes the disease as a severe form of pneumonia caused by bacteria that can be inhaled. Legionnaires can pose a greater risk to alder adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can include headache, muscle pain, chills, a fever of 104 degrees F or higher, cough that may bring up mucus or blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, confusion or other mental changes.
Both health and safety concerns come at a time when Hamilton Township Health Officer Jeffrey Plunkett is facing license revocation by the state Office of Public Health who said that he "grossly failed to discharge (his) duties as a health officer."
The Board of Health meeting will take place in the Hamilton Township Municipal Building Council Chambers at 6:45pm Tuesday night during a recess of the routine Council meeting. As permitted under state law, the Hamilton Township Council is convening as the delegated municipal Board of Health. The Council was deemed as the Board late in 2018 when the state provision was discovered.
Tuesday's meeting will be the second Board meeting since then.
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