Judge: St. Paul must stop inspections of restaurants

A Ramsey County district judge has denied St. Paul’s attempt to stop the state from taking over the city’s inspections of food retailers and restaurants.

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St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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A Ramsey County district judge has denied St. Paul’s attempt to stop the state from taking over the city’s inspections of food retailers and restaurants.

Judge Elena Ostby on Friday denied the city’s request for a temporary restraining order, saying that the state had provided “uncontroverted evidence” of problems with St. Paul’s inspections program which, she said, “jeopardize public safety.”

The decision may lead to layoffs for a dozen city workers and a loss of fee revenues. The state began moving its Agriculture and Health department inspectors into the city Monday to begin taking over from city workers.

Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement he is confident the city is best suited to conduct the inspections, something it has done for more than 100 years.

He said the city had made the necessary investments in staffing, resources, programing, policies, and procedures to maintain a safe and effective food, pool, and lodging inspections program.

“Moving forward, I plan to explore all options that return this important line of business back to the city and we will continue to act in the best interest of our visitors, residents and business owners,” Coleman said.

 

Kevin Duchschere • 651-925-5035

 

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