Evanston day care kitchens checked quarterly, officials say

Tori Latham, City Editor

Officials said Monday that kitchens in Evanston day care facilities are checked quarterly after the Chicago Tribune reported Chicago health inspectors failed to check hundreds of day care centers that serve food in 2014.

In a May 15 article, the Chicago Tribune said about 300 day care centers — which make up more than 40 percent of day care centers in Chicago — were not inspected last year due to “human error.”

“It may have been human error that lead to this issue, however the lack of staff is a major issue,” Carl Caneva, Evanston’s assistant director of health and human services, said in an email to local media. “Less than 30 inspectors for all of (Chicago) means there is no realistic way to achieve the state’s minimum standards.”

Day care facilities must be inspected at least twice a year because they are Risk 1 establishments, which means they are considered to be high-risk and have riskier food handling practices, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Caneva said in the email that local day care kitchens are checked quarterly because young children are a “vulnerable population.” He added that Evanston also does annual inspections, including food inspections, of the roughly 50 home day cares in the city.

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