by Jim Chan.
There are many eateries in Toronto no matter which part of the city you live in. According to Toronto Public Health's DineSafe Toronto inspection program data, there are over 17,000 food establishments in Toronto. In 2001 when DineSafe was first implemented,
DineSafe cuts rate of sickness and food-related illness cases by 30% in city’s eating establishments. However, with a compliance rate of 90% and less infractions in 2014 according to CBC News Toronto DineSafe, there are still at least 1700 food establishments that failed at least 1 food safety inspection each year and still carrying a food safety risk to the public.
When reviewing the DineSafe information from the disclosure website, it appears that the common infractions identified by public health inspectors are pest infestation including roaches, rodents and flies, lack of hand washing, inadequate temperature control and cleaning/sanitation that can result in a failed inspection report and a Conditional
What can an operator do to avoid another fail inspection during the next routine visit by a public health inspector?
Each operator should be their own health inspector and conduct self-inspection regularly to identify food safety infractions and correct them as soon as possible before an unannounced spot check by the public health inspector. See following steps:
10 easy steps to a PASS check list
DineSafe In Toronto
1. Check food temperature control (use local health regulation & requirements)
- Avoid the Danger Zone. Keep cold food COLD (below 4°C/40°F) and hot food HOT (above 60°C/140°F) and keep frozen below -18°C/0°F.
- Check refrigerators and freezers to ensure they have indicating thermometers and in compliance of temperature requirements.
- Cook all hazardous food such as meat to a safe internal temperatures, use a probe thermometer.
2. Check food storage to ensure food protected from contamination
- Store cooked and ready-to-eat food items on shelves above raw food.
- Cover food with lids or wrap and use utensils to reduce direct hand contact with prepared food.
- Use clean safe water for making drinks, ice and preparing food.
- Label chemicals and pesticides and store them away from food and the food preparation area.
- Keep all food items off the floor and store on shelves, racks or pallets.
3. Check to ensure good personal hygiene is required from all employee
- All food handlers must wash hands thoroughly before and after handling food.
- Provide hot/cold running water, soap in a dispenser and a supply of paper towels at all hand wash basins. Ensure these basins only for hand washing and not for other purposes such as food preparation or dish washing.
- Wear clean outer garments and hair constraints.
4. Check food contact surfaces/equipment to ensure good maintenance/sanitation
- Clean and sanitize with soap and water followed by a solution of approved sanitizer.
- Keep all food contact surfaces clean and in good condition.
- Discard cracked utensils such as cutting boards or deeply grooved food contact surfaces.
- Wash all utensils, dishes and equipment either by hand, using the two or three sink method (wash-rinse-sanitize) or in a mechanical dishwasher as required.
5. Check non-food contact surfaces/equipment to ensure good maintenance/sanitation
- Keep floors, walls and ceilings clean and in good repair and to ensure all surfaces are smooth, non-absorbent and easy to clean.
- Ensure the mechanical dishwasher and other equipment in good working condition.
6. Check all public and staff washrooms to ensure good maintenance/sanitation
- Keep washrooms, toilets and change rooms clean at all times.
- Provide: Toilet paper, garbage container,constant supply of hot/cold running water, soap in a dispenser and a supply of paper towels or a hot air dryer at the hand wash basin.
7. Check waste storage/removal
- Remove solid and liquid waste from the food preparation area on a daily basis, or more often if necessary and store waste in a sanitary manner.
- Waste receptacles must be leak-proof, pest-proof, non-absorbent and have tight-fitting lids.
8. Monitor pest infestation and control
- Check for evidence of infestation such as live/dead pests, droppings, nesting sites. Ensure to cover any openings to prevent pests from entering.
- Eliminate any food or water sources for pests.
- Obtain a contract with a licensed pest control operator to provide regular pest control services
9. Food service staff knowledge on food safety
- Check to ensure food service staff have received food handler training & certified through a Food Safety Certification Course as per local health department's requirement. Re-fresh food handlers regularly with the knowledge of safe food handling practices.
10. Manitain good operational records
- Keep records of food safety inspection reports by health inspectors and self-inspection reports, pest control schedules and service provided, equipment repair and maintenance records. Review records with managers regularly as part of the quality assurance program.
DineSafe In Toronto