Rob:

I loved your article dealing with health inspections (“Inspectile Dysfunction,” Jan. 23). As a civil and environmental engineer who has worked in Mobile County for many years and Alabama since 1971, you are really on to something here.

When I first saw your headline, I thought, “Oh, federal inspectors during the government shutdown,” but nope, this problem exists right here in Mobile. I have known Dr. Bernard Eichold and his father for 40 years; they have a home near my winery. They are great folks with a touchy responsibility. They do have issues and the politics of Mobile County does not help.

Your article helps the public understand what they have to deal with it. I work and fight with the Alabama Department of Public Health daily, and staffing is a serious matter. I work to protect the guilty defendants’ rights.

Abuse of power needs checks and balances at all levels. If the establishment serves adult beverages, watch out for an inspector without lipstick and a bouffant hairdo; fundamentalist religions gravitate to employment that is structured and has power to punish the wicked.

When your two largest construction jobs in Mobile are Dauphin Way and Cottage Hill Baptist churches, go figure. Truth is the Bible says have a little wine for thy stomach’s sake, that 12 percent alcohol will kill most of the pathogens that will make you ill in bad food. Don’t believe me? Check incidents of food poisoning on cruise ships and you’ll find the guests that had wine with dinner did not get sick, or as sick, as the non-alcohol crowd.

The Creator knew what He was doing when He made a yeast organism to convert sugar to alcohol and alcohol to acetic acid — both sterile and antibacterial — and it was free all over the world for all God’s children, until Prohibition and such organizations as the Alabama ABC Board and [the Alabama Department of Public Health] decided to intervene with licenses, taxes and inspectors.

My suggestion when dining in Mobile: Go order an adult beverage before, during and after the meal. It’s affordable health insurance and good for the soul.

Jim Eddins,
Perdido Vineyards