Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Inspector Clouseau at the DOH

It used to be said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Well, the proverbial woman has nothing on our health commissioner, on a rat jihad ever since his agency was transfixed by the rodent video at the Village Taco Bell. As the NY Post is reporting this morning, some of the city's best restaurants have been closed as inspection zealousness has gone amok. The paper points out that, "Owners of several prominent restaurants forced to close said they were unfair victims of a culinary witch hunt by overzealous inspectors."

All of this "rat, tat, tat," is threatening to become ridiculous, and is forcing us to lose sight of some of the endemic problems with the entire inspection system. For instance, in an editorial in today's NY Daily News, the paper indicates that, "We trust that the department will now work its little rump off to insure city restaurants are vermin-free."

What the News misses is that the inspection process has long-ago ceased to have any real correlation to the protection of the public health. It is simply a cash-driven money machine and the city's eateries are paying a tithe to the needs of big government. It is another indication that we live in a city that puts the productivity of its businesses way behind the needs of its municipal Leviathan.