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March 31, 2000
Toronto Public Health Releases Results from Week Five of Restaurant Blitz
Toronto Public Health - Toronto Public Health today released the results of
week five of the restaurant blitz, for the week ending March 24. Of the 147
food premises inspected in the downtown blitz area during week five, 99 per
cent were in full compliance by the second visit, and four restaurants will be

Toronto Public Health has inspected 846 food premises downtown and 1,337 city
wide since the blitz began on February 22, 2000. A total of 23 premises have
been closed. Of those closed, 13 are in the blitz area, and the remaining 10
were closed as part of the ongoing food safety inspection program throughout
the city.

Information on charges and closures throughout the City of Toronto since
February 22, 2000, is available on the city's web site at

The practice of regularly informing Toronto residents of all restaurants closed
or charged is an interim strategy that started with the launch of the 14-week
inspection blitz. Toronto Public Health is writing a report on options and
recommendations for permanent public disclosure of inspection results, and a
rating system for restaurants like that found in some cities in the United

"We are consulting with industry representatives, consumer groups, and the
public to help us design long term options for informing the public of
inspection results. This information will form the basis of the report to be
presented to the Board of Health in May," said Dr. Sheela Basrur, Toronto's
Medical Officer of Health. The Board of Health will decide on options, and the
report will be forwarded to City Council for ratification in June.

As part of the public consultation process, Toronto Public Health is
encouraging individuals and organizations to email their comments on access to
inspection information to:
Comments can also be faxed to: Toronto Public Health, attention Food Disclosure
Group, 416-338-2257.

As announced by the City of Toronto's Chief Administrative Officer and other
City officials last week, scheduled restaurant inspections will not be
undertaken during the CUPE local 79 strike. During the strike, Public Health
is providing emergency services where there is a potential risk to human
health. Emergency environmental health services that are continuing to be
provided include investigating food-related complaints including food
poisoning, food recalls and possible vermin infestations at restaurants and
other settings.

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