a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Apr, 2009

How to find out how your favourite Ottawa restaurant fared during its last food safety inspection

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa|Recipes and Food

This is the perfect example of Using the Internet for Good of the Consumer. Oh man I’m excited.

Did you know that the City of Ottawa now posts the results of restaurant food/health inspections ONLINE? Mark just alerted me about it.

This, from the City website:

Eatsafe is a new food safety program that provides easy online access to food inspection information for restaurants, cafeterias and other food establishments in the Ottawa area. The program’s overall goal is to promote food safety and cleanliness in Ottawa’s retail food businesses.

If you want to look up a restaurant, start here.

I’ve been looking at the restaurants in my region of Kitchissippi but it looks like there are more than a few that aren’t available yet.

Read the City’s EatSafe FAQ for more info.

Here’s my question, would you check this website before you go out to eat?

Oh dear. I just found out that one of my favourite places got this write up: “Cleaning required around, under, and behind kitchen equipment, counters, and baseboards.”  (!)


9 Responses to "How to find out how your favourite Ottawa restaurant fared during its last food safety inspection"

1 | Chantal

April 17th, 2009 at 9:13 am

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I will most definitely look at it. I found one restaurant in my area that was not in compliance. We don’t go there, but now I will have to review this list before we ever do.

2 | Loukia

April 17th, 2009 at 10:09 am

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I will look at it, for sure. But I’m kind of scared to, you know? Will reading a bad review make me stop eating at a favourite restaurant? Hmmm..

It’s like when you see the person who is cooking/preparing your food – sometimes, I’d rather not see who is in the kitchen. I was getting my son a cheeseburger at McDonald’s last week, and noticed that the guy who was putting together his burger was NOT wearing gloves. I had to look away. A good mom probably would have not given said burger to her son, but he was hungry and we had no other choice!

3 | Lindsay

April 17th, 2009 at 11:34 am

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I think I would definitely check it out before going out to eat… especially if it’s a restaurant I’m not familiar with.

That being said, I’d try to remember to keep it in perspective. For example, often the notes will say whether an infraction is “critical” or not and/or whether they fixed it during the inspection.

It’s great to put the power in the hands of the consumer though. And I can’t think of a better way to encourage businesses to make sure they are complying!!

4 | Don

April 17th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

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I agree wholeheartedly with Lindsay. The risks involved in non-compliance to the city’s requirements needs to be “managed” by patrons.

So long as the non-compliance is “non-critical” and there is little non-compliance, eating at the restaurant does not break my risk tolerance threshold. I will accept the risk of the kitchen not having a separate hand washing “basin” for food handlers, so long as there is no additional non-compliance in their washing their hands.

On that point, the results of a query to the website, which take FOREVER to display, do not include compliance. Many restaurants work hard to ensure the safety of their food.

For those that don’t, getting their restaurant’s name on the web with non-compliance deemed critical should encourage immediate action.

Thanks for the link!

5 | Gliding through motherhood

April 17th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

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Ack, one of my faves didn’t fare well either. The areas were non-critical though, so that’s something :)

6 | Anna

April 17th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

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While searching for some restaurants I noticed that several school nursery/daycares were “non compliant”….got a kick out of that! These are places where children are served food every day. Yikes.

7 | scatteredmom

April 18th, 2009 at 2:14 am

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Depends. Having worked for a popular chain restaurant, once I knew what went on I never ate there again. There’s places locally that I would be curious about, and we eat out so rarely it doesn’t matter anyway.

A few weeks ago we were in a coffee shop enjoying a snack and watching the baristas, and noticed that one kept wiping his nose on his apron. That pretty much grossed me out. (shiver)

8 | John F. Leslie

August 5th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

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This is an invaluable resource site to determine how your favourite restaurant is complying with provincial standards. I notice that many of the serious infractions deal with food preservation at a certain low temperatures. Will increased Hydro rates combined with the new HST make this indice more problematic for food inspectors! By the way, in Toronto, restaurant inspection reports are posted at entry points. Why is that not the practice in Ottawa?!

9 | Solid roy

October 1st, 2011 at 7:41 pm

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When your stomach call u out, u got to fulfill it quick! Why listen to a few lousy words that blind ur view. Go dine in ur self, check the washroom, look around and determine for ur self the facts! Listen if u gonna listen to a few goofs that flex there muscle better for u to stay home and cook for ur self, u live longer…I’m on my way to not in compliance restaurant hahahahahah ha!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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