September 28, 2003 - Fort Worth Star Telegram: El Salvador RPCV Celeste Parker is registered sanitarian

Peace Corps Online: Directory: El Salvador: Peace Corps El Salvador : The Peace Corps in El Salvador: September 28, 2003 - Fort Worth Star Telegram: El Salvador RPCV Celeste Parker is registered sanitarian

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 12:53 pm: Edit Post

El Salvador RPCV Celeste Parker is registered sanitarian

El Salvador RPCV Celeste Parker is registered sanitarian

Registered sanitarian helps keep food services safe

By Mark Thompson

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


Celeste Parker inspects restaurants, food stores and schools for Tarrant County.

Celeste Parker's training as a registered sanitarian who inspects area restaurants, food stores and schools includes a college degree in environmental science and enough additional training to pass a tough state test.

The 1992 Grapevine High School graduate and Bedford resident also spent a year with the Peace Corps, helping an El Salvador community build a water system.

It is the combination of Parker's real-life and technical training that has made her an effective consumer health sanitarian, said David Jefferson, Tarrant County environmental health manager.

"Things that affect the public health usually are not the things people can see," he said.

That is why the job requires training in subjects like chemistry, microbiology, health and public relations.

Parker receives additional technical training every three months.

Food storage temperatures, for example, are more crucial than quickly clearing restaurant tables, and the two violations are treated differently, Jefferson said.

Parker's ability to communicate well in Spanish -- a skill she picked up in El Salvador -- also enhances her ability to deal with the public, and she often helps co-workers, Jefferson said.

Parker said her primary job includes inspecting about 350 restaurants, retail food stores and schools in Hurst and Haslet, plus the Keller and Northwest school districts.

And while she is not asked to do it often, she is qualified to inspect swimming pools, spas and day care centers, she said.

Parker said she shows up unannounced for food inspections, but most food service managers quickly cooperate to clear up any problems that might lead to health risks.

Food not being stored at the proper temperature is "the No. 1 cause of food-borne illness," she said.

But Parker also watches out for myriad other details, such as leaving a wipe-down towel on a table, instead of in a sanitizing bucket.

"I am kind of nitpicky," she said.

All restaurants are inspected twice a year, unless there are problems, and all retail stores are inspected annually, Parker said.

What Parker has seen at a job she started in March 2001 does not prevent her from dining out, the 1996 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University said.

"The majority of my restaurants do a good job. Many have just a few minor violations," Parker said.

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Story Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - El Salvador; Sanitation



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