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March 5, 2001
Public Health Web site promotes restaurant inspection disclosure
Toronto Public Health -- Public Health officials today unveiled "DineSafe" --
the latest on-line step in implementing the City's new food premises inspection
and disclosure system.

Councillor Joe Mihevc, Chair of the Board of Health, and Dr. Sheela Basrur,
Medical Officer of Health, demonstrated the features of the new Web site
showing the results of restaurant inspections under the green, yellow and red
notice system.

Consumers now have on-line access to inspection results by restaurant name,
address, neighbourhood and several other categories.

Councillor Mihevc called the implementation of the disclosure system an
unqualified success. "This Web site is part of an overall service delivery that
is cleaning up the city's dirty dining problem. Our experience in the first two
months is that full disclosure is working the way it was intended -- as a
deterrent to those operators who need to clean up their act."

Dr. Basrur referred to the increased rate of compliance with food safety
regulations under the new disclosure system. "The good news is the vast
majority of operators -- 74 per cent of more than 3,000 inspections -- received
a green pass. This is about double the rate of compliance a year ago, reducing
the need for re-inspections and saving resources."

Dr. Basrur reported that every restaurant receiving a yellow conditional pass
has been re-inspected within 48 hours. "And 90 per cent of these received a
green on the second inspection. The yellow notices are being applied
consistently under clear guidelines and are producing positive results from a
public health point of view."

Councillor Mihevc said without the yellow notice, there would be no incentive
to address significant infractions of food safety regulations. "The potential
liability to the City would increase as restaurants would be issued a pass
without conditions to ensure compliance. Council made the right decision with
this system -- it's working the way we said it would and the Web site now makes
it more transparent."

In the first two months of the new system 3,013 food premises were inspected;
2,217 received a green pass, 768 received a yellow conditional pass, and 28
were closed.

The "DineSafe" Web site is on the City of Toronto's home page at

Background materials about the Web site and the inspection system are available
from Toronto Public Health.

Media Contact
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