Inspections for premises serving food now easier to monitor

Dave Stewart & Wayne Thibodeau
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Islanders will be able to keep a closer eye on businesses that serve food across the province from now on.

The Department of Health and Wellness has redesigned its inspection report disclosure website so that all of them can now be found at any time.

Environmental health officers, also known as public health inspectors, perform inspections at more than 1,350 food premises every year. This includes restaurants, licensed premises, bakeries, grocery stores, take-outs, markets and special events.

Businesses can be flagged for everything from not renewing a food service licence on time every year to serious violations that could risk being shut down. Those violations are posted on the government's website.

Now, Islanders will be able to log on and find every single establishment at any time, when they were inspected and whether anything was found during an inspection. The reports located on the website are for inspections completed, beginning on Nov. 1, 2014.

"We wanted to make it so that the public were able to look at all establishments,'' said Ryan Neale, senior environmental health officer. "We wanted to give everyone the option to search to see if warnings had been issued.''

In January, for example, three premises were noted for not renewing their food service licence, which is no different than renewing vehicle registration. Businesses are reminded licences expire March 31.

The three businesses are The Guild in Charlottetown, the Royal Canadian Legion in Ellerslie and the Western Community Curling Club in Alberton.

The new electronic process is designed to make the process more accountable. It went live on Jan. 11.

"We've been talking to operators about this for a number of years. Operators always work hard to have satisfactory inspections. With something like this, we would hope they consider that their inspections will be going up on the website and that they continue to do everything they can to have satisfactory inspections.''

On the web:



Organizations: Islanders, Department of Health and Wellness, The Guild Royal Canadian Legion Western Community Curling Club

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Ellerslie, Alberton

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