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February 25, 2000
Preliminary Restaurant Inspection Results
Toronto Public Health - Toronto Public Health began an intensive inspection
blitz of restaurants in the former City of Toronto on Tuesday of this week. On
Tuesday and Wednesday, inspectors visited a total of 74 restaurants. These
results are preliminary and should not be considered representative of
Toronto's restaurant industry in general. Of the 74 restaurants:

- 21 had no violations and were in complete compliance with the Ontario Food
Premise Regulations.

- the remaining 53 restaurants had concerns ranging from food handling
practices to sanitation. Food handling practices include the proper
refrigeration of food, cooking and maintaining food at appropriate
temperatures, and having hot and cold running water. These food handling
practices required modification and were corrected at the time of inspection.
Inspectors will return within 24-48 hours to ensure that these safe practices
are being continued. The sanitation issues will be followed up by inspectors
within one week. Sanitation issues include such things as unclean clothing worn
by food handlers, housekeeping, and structural problems.

- no tickets have yet been issued, as operations are still within the allowable
time period for correction of violations.

- one restaurant was closed. On Thursday, February 24, 2000, the Beemah
restaurant at 1450 Gerrard St. East was closed by order of Toronto Public
Health. The food handling aspects of the premise were satisfactory, however,
the restaurant was closed due to major sanitation and pest control violations.
Floors, walls and ceilings require cleaning and repair, and the restaurant has
an active infestation of mice. The restaurant will remain closed until all
violations are corrected and will be monitored daily to ensure the closure is

"We will continue to ensure current food safety standards are met across the
city. However, one of the most important methods of ensuring safe food for the
public is mandatory food handler training. Toronto Public Health needs the
provincial government to legislate this to assist our public health inspectors
in their ongoing efforts to protect the health of Toronto's restaurant
patrons," says Dr. Sheela Basrur, Medical Officer of Health.

As part of the blitz, approximately 3,360 restaurants out of a total of 7,325
food premises in the former City of Toronto will be inspected during a 14 week

Toronto Public Health plans to release inspection results, via press release,
to the media once a week during the remainder of the blitz. Restaurants that
are given tickets summons to court, or an order to close by Public Health will
be named.

Media Contact
Access Toronto
(416) 338-0338



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