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Inspection process

We work to protect your health through education and inspection activities in the community. Through this work, we strive to prevent illness, disease and injury in a variety of settings.

Public health inspectors conduct inspections at all aesthetic and body modification businesses (personal service settings) where there is a risk of exposure to blood or body fluids, or a risk of spreading infectious diseases during the delivery of services. As part of their inspection, public health inspectors educate owners, operators and staff to ensure that safe practices are followed to reduce risk and respond to and investigate complaints about potential health hazards or violations.

Public health inspectors support licensed child care settings to ensure they are providing a safe and healthy environment for children related to infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices. These activities can include the provision of education and resources, providing leadership and assistance managing outbreaks and IPAC policy development. Inspectors also respond to and investigate complaints.

Public health inspectors inspect a wide range of food premises to prevent foodborne illnesses. Inspectors also consult with new food premises operators before their businesses open to ensure they are in compliance with all pertinent legislation; respond to and investigate complaints about potential health hazards in food premises; and provide information to the general public on food safety. Inspectors can take enforcement measures, such as issue a ticket or order to close, if conditions at food premise are considered hazardous.

Public health inspectors carry out routine inspections of public swimming pools, spas, wading pools and splash pads to ensure they are operated in a safe and sanitary manner and meet the provincial regulations for recreational water facilities. Public health inspectors also respond to and investigate complaints.

Public health inspectors monitor designated public beaches in Simcoe Muskoka from late June to the Labour Day weekend in September. Monitoring includes a visual inspection of beach conditions as well as testing for levels of E. coli bacteria. When levels of E. coli bacteria in the water are elevated, a beach is posted advising swimmers that beach conditions could pose a potential health risk to swimmers.

Tobacco Enforcement Officers (TEOs) enforce compliance of all indoor and outdoor places designated smoke- vape- and cannabis-free under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA). TEOs inspect tobacco vendors, businesses, public places, schools and workplaces to ensure compliance with SFOA. TEOs also respond to complaints and requests from public for assistance to ensure compliance with SFOA, and lay charges where necessary.

Public health staff are required to investigate regulated health settings (e.g. medical offices, labs) whenever there is an infection prevention and control (IPAC) complaint or concern from the public. When received, SMDHU staff visit the facility to assess practices and procedures. If there are issues identified, the investigators works with the facility to modify practices and/or update equipment to ensure the public is safe from infections. If the investigation indicates a direct health risk to previous patients, they may be notified, and provided with advice regarding medical follow-up.

Public health inspectors carry out inspections of recreational camps to ensure they are operated in a safe and sanitary manner and meet the provincial regulations for recreational camps. Public health inspectors also work with operators to make sure there are camp safety plans and that any animals at the camp have their rabies vaccination. Public health inspectors also respond to and investigate complaints at recreational camps.

Public health inspectors carry out inspections of small drinking water systems - that are not served by municipal water such as motels, trailer parks, and community centres - to ensure safe drinking water for the public. Inspectors conduct an on-site assessment of each small drinking water system, and give direction, which may include water testing requirements, treatment, or operator training. Inspectorsinvestigate complaints, and can also issue drinking water advisories to operators when actions are required to protect users from potential health risks related to the drinking water supply.

Public health inspectors are required to inspect locations where ultraviolet tanning treatments are offered (e.g. tanning salons, spas, and fitness centers) whenever there is a complaint or referral from the public.

For more information about the inspection process 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.
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