I have specialized in food safety for over 30 years and thought your investigative report on Portland restaurant inspections shed needed light on the topic (“Restaurant inspections improve, but frustrations simmer,” March 29).

Presenting both points of view (the inspectors and the inspected) is typically a virtue, but I was disappointed that those representing the restaurant industry were so defensive, with one exception (all right, Becky’s Diner!). These negative views and complaints did not deserve space equal to those of the more knowledgeable experts you included.

As you pointed out, it was only in 2012 that the Press Herald rightly excoriated the city’s inspection system for being too lax.

Now that the city has implemented a thorough inspection system, you gave the impression that the inspection program was now hurting the restaurants’ creativity and ability to serve the best possible food, etc.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, “We have done it this way for years and there has never been a problem.” Does someone have to die before some people will recognize that there is a right way to do things so that problems are prevented?

How many people would eat in a restaurant that had the most delicious and creative food available if there were also a 1 percent chance that they would become seriously ill?

The specific requirements regarding hazard analysis are admittedly complex.

Most people do not realize that restaurants are regulated differently in every state and city, with the Food and Drug Administration Food Code that you mentioned being but a guide that state and local regulations may or may not be based on. Smaller towns may seldom see an inspector.

Portland has chosen to implement the Food Code and deserves support for doing its best to protect the public health.

John Manoush

president, Manoush Associates, LLC