Where do you live? Emmaus
What is your occupation/title? Health Officer
How did you become interested in the food industry?
"Actually, my interests were primarily in an environmental field of practice. With food safety being regulated at the local level by public health departments, an environmental health career fit me at the time as I also had experience as a restaurant manager."
What is your educational background?
Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science, Thiel College
What do you believe to be the most important facet of your job?
"Educating facility operators and food handlers to apply food safety practices in their daily food preparation."
Have you had any interesting encounters during your time as a health inspector?
"Most of the interesting encounters I've had would be considered disgusting in the context of sanitary practices. However, one facility some years ago had a significant mouse problem. In investigating the problem early one morning, the breakfast cook told me to watch the grill at exactly 5:35 a.m. Curious, I did so. At exactly the indicated time, a mouse popped up onto the 400 degree cooking surface and scurried across to the other side and past the eggs being cooked for a patron's meal. The cook tried to swat the mouse with his spatula but his aim was off. 'Missed again,' he said."
Describe some of your duties as health inspector.
Ritter handles inspection and licensing of food facilities such as restaurants, markets, schools, etc. He is responsible for reviewing and approving architectural plans for new and remodeled facilities. Additionally, he responds to food product and food-related illness complaints and evaluates food integrity during and after utility failures. He also orders the destruction of unsafe food.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Hunting, fishing, gardening.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
"I have been hunting on safari in South Africa."
If you had to choose just five things to eat for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
"I enjoy my wife's cooking too much to pick only five. And no, I do not inspect her kitchen."