KATIE FILION: Rodents run amuck at Toronto Loblaw’s

A Loblaw’s Supermarket in Toronto, Canada, is closed following a customer complaint regarding a mouse inside the store.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) officials closed the store last night, and already Dinesafe, a website designed to disclose inspection results for food premises in the Toronto area, has updated its most recent inspection findings to include infractions discovered last night, such as:

•    failure to ensure food is not contaminated/adulterated;
•    failure to prevent rodent infestation; and,
•    failure to maintain hazardous food(s) at 4C (40F).

According to Dinesafe, the Dupont St. Loblaw’s has passed the last ten TPH inspections, dating back to April 2007.  But are restaurant inspections a good indicator of the quality of an establishment? Or simply a brief snapshot of a food premise at one point in time? And are web-based disclosure systems like Dinesafe the most effective way to communicate inspection results to consumers?

News reports like the ones in the Toronto Sun or Globe and Mail, websites like Dinesafe, and blogs like this or blogTO, get the information out there to consumers. What I am interested in is which of these methods is the most effective.