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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Food Inspection Disclosure Program?
A Food Inspection Disclosure Program provides the public with ready access to food premises inspection reports conducted by Public Health Inspectors in accordance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation, 562.
Why share inspections with the public?
Ontario health units are required under Ontario Public Health Standards to make inspection results available to the public upon request.
What is SMDHU doing to meet this requirement?

A new online food premises inspection disclosure program will be created and maintained by Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) to allow the public and food premises operators/owners access to our food premises inspection reports through our website.

Pending implementation of our on-line program, paper copies of inspection reports can still be obtained by individual request through our Health Connection phone line.

What inspection reports will be available?

The SMDHU will make the food premises inspection reports available from the following types of 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, etc.)
  • Institutional food service establishments (hospitals, school cafeterias, nursing homes, etc.)
  • Mobile food service premises (hot dog carts, catering vehicles, French fry trucks, etc.)

The food inspection disclosure program will not provide inspection reports for special events, farmers' markets, or any food premises that are exempt from the Ontario Food Premises Regulation, 562.

What are the benefits of disclosure?
Disclosure systems benefit both the public and food premises operators. Research provided by other health units with similar disclosure systems has indicated that their owners/operators noticed an overall positive effect on their business. Our new online food inspection disclosure system is intended to increase awareness of safe food handling practices and promote improved food safety standards. Studies have also shown that public access to inspection reports promotes increased compliance with food safety standards by food premises operators. Increased compliance may then reduce the risk of food-borne illness.
Why did SMDHU choose this type of Disclosure Program?
The Food Safety program staff began to look at the different food premises inspection disclosure systems used by other health units in Ontario to determine the most effective way to make inspection reports available to residents in our area. Our review concluded that implementing an online food premises inspection disclosure program would provide timely and consistent access across all communities served by the SMDHU.
How can food premise operators help promote awareness of the Disclosure Program to their customers?
Our food establishments will be provided with a sign that can be posted in a visible location that will notify patrons that food premises inspection reports are available for viewing on the health unit website. Customers will be able to view the most current report on the website, as well as the compliance history of an establishment over time.
Are you asking restaurants to post their inspection results on-site?
We will not be asking food establishments to post their inspection results on-site. We will be providing a sign for food establishments to post in a visible location that informs the public about the program and lists the URL address for the website where they can view the inspection reports.
For more information please call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) ext. 8811 to speak to a public health inspector.
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