Maintaining a balance is important for the field inspectors with the Division of Food and Recreational Safety in Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

Their jobs require them to be thorough in inspections that run the gamut from the quality of foods to the purity of swimming pools.

DATCP’s responsibilities have expanded even more since an organizational change brought 35 staff positions from the Department of Health Services’ Food Safety and Recreation License unit over to DATCP’s Division of Food and Recreational Safety. So the staff inspects everything from food plants and dairy farms to hotels, campgrounds, and more.

“The idea was to get our sanitarians cross-trained so that whichever agency they started out in, they would learn the other peoples’ work enough to cover their area,” says Steve Ingham, the division’s administrator. “The goal was to be more efficient, that people wouldn’t be driving as far to do inspections and, in some situations, a single inspector could do all sorts of business at a given place. ”

Those who own and run the facilities being inspected are impressed.

Gabe Chernov, who owns Birch Trail Camp in Mequon, says his experience with the annual DATCP summer inspection is always a positive one.

“Seeing it when the kids are there enables them to see if we’re doing things right and within the law, and it enables us to showcase our camp,” Chernov says. “I feel they really give a good inspection and I’m challenged by it, but I also feel we’re a good partner,” he adds.

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