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FAQs

 

 

What is Inspection Connection?

Inspection Connection is a health unit service that helps you access inspection reports conducted by public health inspectors. You will see inspection reports for all food premises and licensed child care centres.   

There are two main components of Inspection Connection:

1. Access to online inspection results:

Recent inspection results conducted by a public health inspector are available online for most food establishments in the County of Simcoe and District of Muskoka.

2. Posting of onsite signage:

As public health inspectors complete inspections, a green certificate of inspection sign will be posted onsite by operators. Each sign will have a date of inspection listed to show when they were last inspected.

What does the onsite certificate of inspection signage tell me?

A green certificate of inspection sign displayed in the window means that, on the date of the inspection, the minimum standards of the regulation were met.

A red CLOSED sign is given to an operator when the public health inspector has observed that an immediate health hazard exists. The establishment is required to post this sign at the entrance. A public health inspector will remove the CLOSED sign if the health hazard(s) has been removed or corrected.

What do the online reports tell me?

The online inspection reports only describe the conditions of the establishment on the date of inspection and do not guarantee the conditions of an establishment at all times. The online report will tell you the establishment name, location, type of establishment, type of inspection and will detail whether any areas of non-compliance were found during the inspection. Both critical and non-critical infractions will be listed. It may detail whether issue(s) identified by the public health inspector were corrected during the inspection and whether follow up was required? It will also show any legal actions taken.

How long are inspection results available online?

Inspection results will be available online for 2 years. When a business closes, their results are removed. When there is a new owner, only results since the new owner started are available online.

Does an operator know when an inspector is coming?

The majority of inspections are unannounced and carried out without notice. In addition, inspections may occur as the result of a complaint, suspected foodborne illness or food recall. Only rarely, such as when a food establishment doesn't have regular operating hours, an inspection may be scheduled.

For more information about the inspection process visit our website or to make a complaint, call to speak with a public health inspector Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or toll-free 1-877-721-7520 ext. 8809.

 

 

Who will I be able to see inspection reports for?

We will make inspection reports available for the following types of child care centres in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka:

All settings that have a licence as a child care centre under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, including:

  • Full-day centres
  • Half-day centres
  • Nursery schools
  • School age programs (including those provided onsite in schools).

We will not provide inspection reports for unlicensed child care, home child care agencies or summer camps provided at licensed child care centres.

How often are these settings inspected?

Licenced child care centres are required to be inspected at least once per year for infection prevention and control (IPAC). Additional inspections are required based on a risk assessment conducted each year for each centre. Factors considered in the risk assessment include:

  • Hours of operation

· Ages groups and developmental stages of the enrolled children

  • Design features of the centre
  • How well outbreaks are managed
  • Activities children engage in (e.g. water play, sandboxes)
  • Interaction with animals (e.g. pets onsite, visiting zoos)
  • Compliance history with previous IPAC recommendations.

What does a public health inspector look for during an inspection?

Some of the areas that public health inspectors check during inspections include:

  • Policies and procedures on infection prevention and control
  • Management of infectious diseases & outbreaks in the centre
  • Handwashing practices
  • Diapering and toileting practices
  • Storage of children’s personal items

· Cleaning and disinfecting of toys, educational items, surfaces and rooms

  • Pest control
  • General sanitation.

When would a public health inspector close a child care centre?

An inspector may close a licensed child care centre if they believe an immediate health hazard exists, as defined under Section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. A premises may be closed for the following reasons:

  • No potable water (not suitable for drinking or handwashing)
  • No power source
  • Sewage backup
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Insect/rodent infestation
  • Heat/smoke/water damage
  • Outbreaks.

 

 

Who will I be able to see inspection reports for?

We will make inspection reports available for the following types of food establishments in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka:

  • General food service establishments (restaurants, bars, cafeterias, delis, butcher shops, grocery stores, banquet halls, catering kitchens, licensed before and after school programs, student nutrition programs, etc.)
  • Institutional food service establishments (hospitals, licensed child care centres, long-term care homes, etc.)
  • Mobile food service premises (hot dog carts, catering vehicles, french fry trucks, etc.)
  • We will not provide inspection reports for special events, farmers' markets, and shelters.

How often are establishments inspected?

The frequency that food premises are inspected can be at a minimum of one to three times a year and is based on several factors including:

  • Type and volume of food served
  • Type of population served (e.g. general public, children, seniors)
  • Length of time they are open in a calendar year
  • Number of food preparation steps and the amount of food handling
  • If there is a certified food handler present
  • History of foodborne illnesses and compliance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation, 562.

What does a public health inspector look for during an inspection?

Some of the areas that public health inspectors check during inspections include:

  • Temperatures that foods are stored at (hot and cold)
  • Cooking, reheating, and cooling times and temperatures
  • Employee personal hygiene
  • Flow of food through receiving, storage, preparation and service
  • Dish/equipment washing and sanitizing procedures
  • Food sources – where foods are brought in from
  • Pest control
  • How garbage is collected, contained and disposed
  • Cleanliness of floors, walls, ceilings, equipment and other surfaces.

When would a public health inspector close an establishment?

An inspector may close a food premises if they believe an immediate health hazard exists, as defined under Section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. An establishment may be closed for the following reasons:

  • Foodborne illness outbreak
  • No potable water (not suitable for drinking)
  • No power source
  • Sewage backup
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Insect/rodent infestation
  • Heat/smoke/water damage.

 

 

Who will I be able to see investigation reports for?

We will make investigation reports available for any infection prevention and control (IPAC) investigation that determines an IPAC lapse occurred through the assessment of a complaint, referral or through disease surveillance. An infection prevention and control lapse is when failure to follow IPAC practices resulted in a risk of transmission of infectious diseases to clients, attendees or staff through exposure to blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, mucous membranes, non-intact skin, or contaminated equipment and soiled items.

These investigations can occur in any public setting in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka including:

  • Schools (all levels, including public and private)
  • Community centres, fitness facilities, sports clubs
  • Personal service settings
  • Child care centres (licensed and unlicensed)
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Facilities in which regulated health professionals operate.

It does not include reports of premises that were investigated following a complaint or referral where no infection prevention and control lapse was ultimately identified. These reports are not exhaustive, and do not guarantee that those premises listed and not listed are free of infection prevention and control lapses. Identification of lapses is based on assessment and investigation of premises at a point-in-time, and these assessments and investigations are triggered when potential infection prevention and control lapses are brought to the attention of the local medical officer of health.

Why are these establishments inspected on a complaint or referral basis?

The majority of these establishments are not routinely inspected therefore it is through one of the following methods the potential issue is reported:

  • A complaint made by any member of the public
  • Infectious disease surveillance data
  • Referral from a regulatory college, another local medical officer of health or the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care.

 

What does public health look for during an investigation?

The assessment of the complaint takes into account a wide variety of information including:

  • Determining whether previous complaints/inquiries or IPAC lapses have been reported to the board of health and what actions, if any, were taken
  • Reviewing infectious diseases surveillance data
  • Visiting the premises named in the complaint to

    - Interview staff

    - Observe IPAC practices

    - Review policies, procedures, records, and logs.

 

 

Who will I be able to see conviction reports for?

Businesses convicted of retail offences under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, including selling tobacco or vapes to minors, will have conviction information posted on the disclosure site.

How often are these establishments inspected?

Tobacco retailers and vape retailers are inspected two to three times per year including enforcement checks with youth employees who determine the retailer’s willingness to sell age-restricted products to minors.

What does a tobacco enforcement officer look for during an inspection?

Tobacco enforcement officers provide ongoing education to tobacco retailers and vape retailers on not selling age-restricted products to youth and the regulations related to displaying and promoting tobacco and vapour products.

What happens when an establishment is convicted?

Tobacco retailers and vape retailers may be subject to fines and other penalties under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 and Provincial Offences Act if convicted of breaking the law.

 

 

Who will I be able to see beach water testing reports for?

We will make inspection reports available for public beaches in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka. A public beach is a designated swimming area for the general public that is owned and/or operated by a municipality. The health unit works with the municipalities to determine what beaches will be sampled each year.

How often are beaches tested?

Based on past sampling data and the beach sampling protocol produced by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the health unit determines how often beaches should be sampled. Normally beaches are sampled once per week during July and August, but might be sampled more often under some circumstances.

What are the water samples tested for?

The Provincial Laboratory analyzes each sample for E.coli bacteria. E. coli is used because it is the most specific indicator of fecal pollution. (It should be remembered that there are thousands of different kinds of E.coli bacteria, but only a few of them cause illness in humans.) The results of the laboratory analysis indicate the bacterial quality of the beach water at the specific time the beach was sampled. To get an accurate assessment of water quality, a number of samples across the beach area must be taken.

When would a public health inspector post a beach advisory?

When there is evidence that bacterial levels exceed Canadian guidelines and there may be a higher than normal risk of infection, a warning is posted advising the public that the water may be unsafe for swimming. Before a beach is posted, results from several samples are required.

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