To the Editor:

The Westfield Board of Health met on August 3, 2015.

A Board Hearing was convened concerning a local restaurant that had a recent history of recurrent Sanitary Code violations. At its most recent inspection, the restaurant corrected most, but not all, of the past violations. After review, the Board unanimously voted to place the restaurant on a 12-month probation with conditions since it was not an imminent threat to public health. If there are continued violations that potentially imperil public health, additional measures, up to and including temporary closure, may be instituted. Details will be posted in the board minutes when approved.

Sign Up for E-News

The board also approved a new ordinance requiring that each retail food establishment in town post its most current evaluation placard (Satisfactory, Conditional Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory) near the main entrance to be clearly visible to patrons.

Of 29 retail food inspections, 24 were Satisfactory and five were Conditionally Satisfactory. Several pools and tanning facilities were also inspected and were Satisfactory.

The Board reviewed many environmental complaints, including four concerning residents who are not properly containing and disposing of garbage and four concerning properties with reported rat and other animal infestations. Residents must keep garbage in tightly-sealed covered containers and have a licensed waste hauler for trash pickup.

Also, please do not feed wild animals. Rabid animals are present in our county and we need to minimize harmful rodents that are more active during the summer. Any resident who has questions or concerns regarding these or other environmental health issues can contact the Principal Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Helen Mendez, at 908-789-4070, extension 4072, or hmendez@westfieldnj.gov.

The Board also recommends that residents should prepare now for the next severe weather emergency. Make or restock your disaster supply kit with at least a 3 days supply: 1) water, 1 gallon per person per day; 2) nonperishable food; 3) medications; and 4) flashlight and radio, with batteries. Also, have a plan to aid family members, take care of pets, and safely shut off utilities. Finally, if you will use a portable generator, plan to locate it in a well-ventilated space AWAY from your house.

Ten initial pre-school and school immunization audits were completed and compliance ranged from 78 percent to 100 percent. Nursing counseling was completed and the five programs that were initially less than 100 percent were fully compliant when re-audited.

Information about all of the Department’s activities is available on its website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health. The complete minutes of the August 3 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our September 14 meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building.