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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.

  

Who will I be able to see inspection reports for?

We will make inspection reports available for all recreational camps located within Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka that meet the following conditions under Ontario Regulation 503/17 Recreational Camps:

  • Overnight accommodations and eating facilities are available at the camp
  • The camp can accommodate five or more persons under eighteen years of age or persons who have special needs
  • There may or may not be a charge for the camp.

We will not provide inspection reports for day camps and those camps that do not meet the definition of a recreational camp under the recreational camp regulation.

How often are these camps inspected?

Under the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Health Hazards Response Protocol 2019, a minimum of one routine inspection a year is required for recreational camps. Additional inspections are required, as necessary, to address non-compliance with Ontario Regulation 503/17 observed during inspections and to investigate complaints.

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

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

  • Camp safety plans
  • Potable drinking water supplies
  • Waterfront safety
  • Safe food handling practices (food storage and cooking temperatures, dish/equipment washing procedures, food handler training and hygiene, food sources and cleanliness of the kitchen and dining areas)
  • Outbreak control measures (surveillance for infectious diseases and infection prevention and control measures to prevent transmission during on outbreak)
  • Rabies vaccination for animals (pet cats and dogs) at the camp
  • Appropriate staff supervision (staff to camper ratios are maintained and staff have first aide and/or medical training)
  • Pest control programs
  • General cleanliness, sanitation and maintenance of the camp.

When would a public health inspector close a camp?

An inspector may close a public recreational water facility if they believe under reasonable and probable grounds that 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:

  • Sewage backup
  • No potable water suitable for drinking
  • No power source
  • Significant insect/rodent infestation
  • Recreational camp is not maintained in a clean or sanitary condition
  • Any other condition that may harm the health and safety of campers.

Are Disclosure signs required at Recreational Camps?

Recreational Camp owners/operators are not required to post a Certificate of Inspection sign at their establishment. Inspection reports for recreational camps will be available on our Inspection Connection site.

 

 

Who will I be able to see inspection reports for?

We will make inspection reports available for the following types of recreational water facilities regulated under Ontario Regulation 565/90 Public Pools and located within Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka:

  • Public pools (Class A and B pools as defined under Ontario Regulation 565/90 Public Pools)
  • All public spas
  • All public wading pools, splash pads and spray pads.

We will not provide inspection reports for waterslide receiving basins.

How often are these facilities inspected?

Public recreational water facilities are inspected a minimum of one to four times per year based on their months of operation to help prevent and reduce water-borne illnesses and injuries. The following inspection frequencies are required for public recreational water facilities:

  • All public recreational water facilities are inspected prior to opening or re-opening
  • Public pools and spas are inspected once every three months during the calendar year (four times a year)
  • Public pools and spas that operate seasonally are inspected once every three months while in operation
  • Public splash/spray pads are inspected one to two times a year depending on their water treatment designs
  • Public wading pools are inspected one time within the calendar year.

Additional inspections are required of public recreational water facilities, as necessary, to address non-compliance with Ontario Regulation 565/90 observed during inspections, to investigate complaints, and to monitor safety of the facilities.

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

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

  • Water quality including clarity, disinfection, pH, total alkalinity and oxidation reduction potential and cyanuric acid (used in outdoor pools)
  • Spa water temperature
  • Operation and maintenance of pool equipment and the physical setting (general cleanliness and safety)
  • Safety equipment and overall safety of the facility
  • Adequate supervision for the type of recreational facility
  • Daily operational records
  • Posting of signs (notices contain the required information and are posted at appropriate locations)
  • >Designated operators that are appropriately trained for the operations of the public recreational water facility.

When would a public health inspector close a facility?

An inspector may close a public recreational water facility if they believe under reasonable and probable grounds that 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:

  • Lack of disinfectant in the water
  • Poor water clarity (black disc or lowest outlet drain is not visible)
  • Recreational water facility and its equipment are not maintained in a safe and sanitary condition
  • Missing or broken safety equipment
  • Recirculating equipment is not operational
  • Adequate supervision is not provided for the recreational water facility type
  • Lack of power
  • Any other condition that may harm the health and safety of swimmers.

Are Disclosure signs required at all recreational water facilities?

  • Only year-round indoor recreational water facilities are required to post a Certificate of Inspection sign at their establishment. Inspection reports for all recreational water facilities will be available on our Inspection Connection website.

 

 

Who will I be able to see inspection reports for?

We will make inspection reports available for small drinking water systems in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka. A small drinking water system is a business or premises that makes drinking water available to the public but does not get that water from a municipal drinking water system. Small drinking water systems include:

  • A food service establishment
  • A place that operates primarily for the purpose of providing overnight accommodation to the travelling public
  • A trailer park or campground
  • A marina
  • A church, mosque, synagogue, temple or other place of worship
  • A recreational camp
  • A recreational or athletic facility
  • A place, other than a private residence, where a service club or fraternal organization meets on a regular basis, or
  • Any place where the general public has access to a washroom, drinking water fountain or shower.

We will not provide inspection reports for drinking water systems that fall under the Safe Drinking Water Act and are enforced by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

How often are these establishments inspected?

We are required to conduct routine inspections of small drinking water systems that are regulated under theHealth Protection and Promotion Act and Ontario Regulation 319/08 Small Drinking Water Systems. Since there are many types of small drinking water systems, a public health inspector conducts a site-specific risk assessment and routine inspection of the system to determine the potential risks to users associated with the operation of the small drinking water system.

At the end of the risk assessment the small drinking water system is assigned one of the following risk categories for the entire system:

  • High = Significant level of risk
  • Moderate = Medium level of risk
  • Low = Negligible level of risk

Moderate and low risk systems require an inspection at least once every four years, and high risk systems require an inspection at least once every two years.

Follow-up inspections of small drinking water systems may also occur. If we receive complaints about a facility or if re-inspections are needed, additional inspections may occur. If an establishment is under an Order of a Public Health Inspector, compliance checks may also occur in addition to routine inspections.

Are Disclosure signs required at Small Drinking Water Systems?

Public small drinking water system owners/operators are not required to post a Certificate of Inspection sign at their establishment. Inspection reports for small drinking water systems will be available on our Inspection Connection website.

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

Public health inspectors ensure that all small drinking water systems meet minimum requirements set out in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Safe Drinking Water and Fluoride Monitoring Protocol, 2019 and the Small Drinking Water Systems Regulation 319 made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Some key requirements include:

  • Microbiological Sampling and Testing
  • Treatment
  • Operational Checks
  • Records
  • Designated operators who are appropriately trained for the safe operation of the drinking water system.

When would a public health inspector close a small drinking water system?

An inspector may order a small drinking water system to be closed 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 power source
  • Contamination of the water supply
  • Sewage backup
  • Heat/smoke/water damage
  • Waterborne outbreaks
  • Any other condition that may pose a risk to the public’s health.
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