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January 23, 2004
City wins court challenge of DineSafe - Toronto's restaurant disclosure program
Yesterday, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled in favour of the City of
Toronto's disclosure program for restaurant inspections.

The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) challenged the
jurisdictional and constitutional validity of the by-law that requires
restaurant operators to post colour-coded health inspection results at or near
the entrance to food premises.

In dismissing the challenge, the court affirmed that the City has the authority
to pass and implement the by-law. The court awarded costs to the City.

"The court has clearly indicated that the legal framework is solid, and now
it's time for the ORHMA to recognize that the public and most restaurant
operators support DineSafe," said Councillor John Filion, Chair of the Board of

In a recent poll, 98 per cent of residents surveyed said it was important to
maintain the rating and disclosure program. Over 70 per cent of food premises
operators surveyed also supported the program.

"This has been one of the most popular public health initiatives in years.
Restaurants in Toronto are now cleaner, most operators pass their first health
inspection, and the need for re-inspections has decreased significantly," said
Dr. Sheela Basrur, Medical Officer of Health.

Prior to the implementation of the program, 30 per cent of food premises passed
their first health inspection. Currently, over 88 per cent of premises get a
green pass on their first inspection.

The disclosure program started on January 8, 2001, and was the first of its
kind in Canada.

For more information on the program and for inspection results, visit:

Media Contacts:
Councillor John Filion

Mary Margaret Crapper
Toronto Public Health



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