- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Food establishments in Flint are being encouraged to take advantage of free water safety inspections offered amid the city’s crisis with lead-tainted water.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley joined other officials on Friday to show how the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Genesee County Health Department are working with restaurants, bars, food markets and food processors to ensure safety.

Food establishments must take extra precautions, including having water tested by an accredited laboratory to prove it is safe to use; installing approved water filters as needed; flushing unfiltered faucets; or using commercially bottled water, they said.

But restaurant and bar owners have complained that the increased cost of having to use filters, bottled water and a loss in customers have hurt business, The Flint Journal reported Friday.

Calley urged patrons to visit Flint eateries as he toured Blackstone’s restaurant along with officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and other local officials.

“You have to see Flint,” he told reporters. “I beg you please come and take a look. Meet people here. Get a flavor for the types of creativity that’s happening.”

“Everybody is concerned and there is definitely a substantial lack of trust,” Calley continued. “That’s one of the reasons we want to open up and show everybody the types of thigs that we are doing to ensure the safety in the products in the service that they provide.”

The state is paying for water testing and sending out inspectors. Health inspectors are focusing on priority facilities such as those that provide childcare, according to state officials.

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Online:

https://www.michigan.gov/flintwater

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