Eric Lewis, a reporter with the Times & Transcript in New Brunswick (that’s in Canada), writes in this opinion piece:
Any time I hear of a restaurant shut down for health violations, I can’t wait to read what they did wrong so I can gauge whether or not I want to ever try go there in the first place or go back if I’ve been there already. Luckily, none of the places I frequent have violated any major rules or been shut down, far as I can recall.
Just prior to Christmas, it was reported that one local restaurant had been fined for continuing to serve customers after a health inspector ordered it closed, violating the Food Premises Regulation of the Public Health Act.
The restaurant in question has since passed another inspection and all previous non-compliances have been corrected, which is great. Accidents happen, mistakes can be made but – especially in an area such as food preparation – they absolutely must be corrected.
I worked for a few years as a teen in a fast-food restaurant. Say what you will about the ‘quality’ of food you get in most fast-food places, but they have to follow the same regulations other restaurants do.
I remember well having to store food a certain number of inches off the floor, having to check temperatures of coolers and warmers and having to wash your hands so frequently that your hands nearly screamed for a bit of moisturizer by the end of the shift.
I’m a big fan of the provincial Department of Health’s restaurant inspection page it launched a few years ago.
Located at http://www1.gnb.ca/0601/fseinspectresults.asp , the site allows anyone to view the results of the most recent inspections completed for every restaurant in the province. Any violations, major or minor, are right there for you to read all about. Restaurants are rated using a colour-coded system that gives you an idea how they’re faring.
Green means the restaurant has a high standard of compliance with no more than five minor violations. There are five levels in total, with a solid red meaning a restaurant’s licence has been revoked for non-compliance.
It’s an interesting tool. Upon a quick search this week, it appears most restaurants in the province are green, while there are a few yellows and the odd restaurant in the red.