Red Green (and yellow) in Sarnia, ON

Embarrassing as it is to admit, I used to watch the somewhat popular Canadian Red Green show (pictured right) – it really reminds me of my Uncle Bob. According to The Observer online, Sarnia may soon be adopting a green-yellow-red colour coded restaurant disclosure system similar to Toronto (pictured below).

Mayor Mike Bradley is determined that residents and local visitors will know exactly how Sarnia- Lambton restaurants fare in health and safety inspections by taking a quick glance in the front window.

A green card in a restaurant would signal that Ontario food safety laws are being followed. A yellow sign would indicate it’s safe to eat there but non-critical violations need to be corrected. If it’s red, an immediate hazard is present and the restaurant is closed.

Currently, the health unit posts on its website the names of restaurants convicted of food safety violations. The convictions website only deals with the most serious violations.

But mayor Bradley is not happy with just that, saying,

"We have a lot of tourists here and they aren’t going to check a website. This is a public health issue. Why are we so reluctant to implement a simple system?"

Explaining that he has the support of the public, Bradley said,

“I will tell you this: I’ve never had opposition from restaurateurs. They understand this is to their benefit."

The proposed colour-coded disclosure system is similar to those operating in Toronto and London, ON already — copycat scores-on-doors programs are common. When the city of Auckland, New Zealand implemented a letter grading scheme similar systems popped up throughout the rest of the country. L.A.’s popular grading scheme has trickled throughout the U.S. with many jurisdictions adopting similar systems; and in Connecticut the various creepy symbols are spanning districts.