Public Health Inspections and restaurant inspections are conducted regularly by Canada's Federal, Provincial or Municipal agencies. Inspections are conducted on restaurants, swimming pools, child care facilities, rental housing, public facilities, beaches and drinking water systems.
Many health inspection agencies in Canada disclose their restaurant inspection reports, ratings or convictions, repair or closure orders, drinking water and beach water quality reports, beach closures, beach postings, or other inspection information for anyone to read.
Health Inspectors generally enter these facilities during normal business hours. In Canada, most jurisdictions have laws that make it illegal for an owner or operator to stop them from entering their establishment. Public Health Inspectors carry proper photo identification for these purposes.
Canadian Public Health Inspectors conducting restaurant inspections do not usually contact operators to schedule health inspections, do not require the use of unique codes and do not charge fees. They do not collect payments for fines or for issuing restaurant rating systems.
Once they have completed their inspection of the facility, they give reports to the operator or owner outlining deficiencies that require their attention, generally with strict timelines for completion. In some cases, Orders are issued.
Orders are powerful legal documents that require something to be addressed immediately or require a premise to be closed. For the Order to be lifted, the owner or operator is required to remove the condition that is considered injurious or dangerous to the health of the public.
Failure to comply with an order is a very serious matter and can result in charges and an owner or operator could find themselves facing a judge in a court of law. If this happens, the judge may require the operator to correct the health issue and to pay a large fine as well.
If an operator does not comply with the judge's decision, the judge may require the operator to serve time in prison.
In order to practice in Canada, Public Health Inspectors and Environmental Health Officers must be certified by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. As a minimum, a bachelor degree in Environmental Health is required.
Facilities in Canada that may have health inspections conducted on them are restaurants, food establishments, food premises, cafeterias, convenience stores, gas bars, mobile food premises, catering vehicles, day cares, child care facilities, senior's lodges, adult care facilities, apartments, rental houses and illegal drug houses.
Swimming pools, whirlpools, recreation facilities, water parks, beaches, drinking water systems, drinking water wells, campgrounds, work camps, lodges, wilderness camps, backcountry lodges, waste disposal facilities and private sewage disposal systems may also be inspected.
Personal services businesses such as barber shops, hair cutting salons, hair waxing and removal shops, beauty shops, ear and body piercing shops and tattooing shops may also have health inspections conducted on them.
Health inspectors may review development plans and provide comments to subdivision and development authorities on land use planning, new housing subdivisions, drinking water systems, resorts, subdivisions of land, cemeteries, industrial and commercial developments.
The enforcement of regulations regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors and inspection of specified smoke free places may also be carried out.
Health inspectors may also address outdoor and indoor air quality issues, soil contamination, drinking water contamination, recreational and beach water contamination, recalls on food products and any other condition that could be a danger to the health of the public.
Inspections are also conducted into food poisonings,
foodborne diseases, outbreaks and other communicable diseases carried by
food or water. Inspectors also follow-up with animals that have bitten
or scratched humans in the event rabies may have been a factor.
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