One star sucks in restaurant inspection; I want 5 on my forehead

Sewage backups in food storage areas. Restaurants with sleeping quarters. Unclean staff members. Unsanitary premises.

Windsor-area food establishments have now been busted — publicly — by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for food safety infractions.

Food safety ratings of hundreds of establishments are officially available online for the first time today. The ratings use a star system to denote the level of food safety witnessed by health unit inspectors at the time of inspection. A rating of five stars reflects excellent compliance with the province’s food regulations, while fewer stars reflects a lower degree of compliance.

Of the 1,806 establishments rated on the Safe Food Counts website Thursday, seven establishments got a one-star rating, which is classified as “needs improvement” by the health unit.

The Sun Hong Restaurant on 2045 Wyandotte Street West in Windsor, Ontario (that’s in Canada) on September 9. and a handful of others around the city, received a one-star health inspection rating by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (left, photo by Ben Nelms, The Windsor Star).

Eight establishments received a two-star rating, described as “fair,” 39 got three stars, or a “good” rating, and the remainder received four or five stars, classified as “very good” and “excellent.”

The Royal Pita Bakery at 701 Wyandotte St. E., was closed by the health unit in June after inspectors deemed it an “immediate health hazard.”

In 2008, the Ontario Public Health Standards mandated all health units to publicly disclose food safety inspection results. The local health unit began its Safe Food Counts program in 2009. The health unit website states that though the scores are reflective of food safety conditions at the time of the inspection, "the score may not reflect the overall, long-term standards of the business. It also does not represent the quality (e.g., taste, nutrition, customer service, etc.) of the food served at the premises."

The food safety ratings can be viewed online at

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time