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— By SHEA WILSON

Feature writer

The Arkansas Department of Health is continuing to address issues with food safety inspections for Camden restaurants after an investigation revealed that a former employee had filed invalid electronic reports.

ADH Public Information Officer Meg Mirivel told the Camden News that all inspections done by the employee have been removed from the public eye.

“We have removed all of the inspections done by the employee from the public portal out of an abundance of caution,” Mirivel said in an e-mail.

The health department is now in the process of conducting inspections of local restaurants to obtain valid reports.

“Our inspectors are in the process of inspecting the affected restaurants,” Mirivel said. “That’s where we are at this point.”

The Camden News ran an article on Sept. 11 about the results of food-safety inspections for the month of August. The inspection reports are public record and available online. Six businesses contacted the newspaper after the article ran and indicated that the inspector who signed the reports referenced in the article, Lindsey Webb, had not visited their establishments during the time period mentioned in the report.

Restaurant owners and others connected to food services continued to raise concerns with the newspaper. Due to the number of concerns expressed by local businesses, the newspaper contacted the Health Department in Little Rock about the validity of the information posted on the agency’s website. The Health Department opened an investigation and found that certain inspections were not valid.

Mirivel told the Camden News previously that the health department would continue to investigate how long the invalid reports had been filed and the number of restaurants impacted. Mirivel also said the employment of the person responsible for the invalid reports has been terminated.

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