I can't believe that the director of the Utah Restaurant Association would announce publicly on television that he opposes the program of the Salt Lake County Department in their exposure of unclean restaurants.

I have been in the food service industry for 55 years and am presently a retired volunteer food service consultant for the SCORE arm of the Small Business Administration.The first advice I give someone when they want to start a food service operation is to tell them to contact the office of Donald White, Salt Lake County Health Department, and arrange with them to check your place before you ever open for business. That way you can correct any deficiencies and overcome any problems in advance.

I was the food service director at the Utah state prison for 25 years. We made it standard operating policy that the health inspectors were welcome at any time. I would even have the shift superintendent and the head inmate chef go on tour with the inspector. That way everyone concerned - inmates and civilian personnel alike - would know that a clean food service operation was in effect.

I think the operators of cafes, restaurants and fast-food franchises should take another look at the inspection process and the public disclosure of defects. If they have nothing to hide, or their operation is not a menace to the health of the public, then the Health Department program of enforcement should continue in full force, with the support and cooperation of the public and the restaurant owners.

Al Richardson