Food Premises Inspection – All Food Premises

Policy

Category: General – Health Protection
Subject: Food Premises Inspection – All Food Premises
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.86.01.100
Effective Date: January 23, 2013

POLICY STATEMENT

It is the policy of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), Health Protection Division, to ensure safe food preparation in all food premises, including but not limited to restaurants, recreational camps, mobile food premises, and food premises located within institutions such as retirement, nursing and long-term care homes, licensed day nurseries, hospices, group homes, hospitals, shelters, and treatment centers.  This will be done through assessment, surveillance, education, consultation, evaluation, and regulatory enforcement, in accordance with the most current version of the Food Safety Protocol and Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, under the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Food Premises regulation under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. 

SCOPE

This policy applies to all Control of Infectious Diseases (CID) and General Program (GP) Public Health Inspectors in the Health Protection Division.

RESPONSIBILITIES

CID and GP Public Health Inspectors will:
  • Conduct inspections of all food premises at a minimum frequency determined by an annual risk assessment, with additional inspections in response to outstanding non-compliant items, complaints, and on request; and
  • Provide education during inspections in the form of food safety training or fact sheets, for example.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure: CA.86.02.100 Food Premises Inspection – All Food Premises
Food Safety Protocol
Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol
Health Protection and Promotion Act

APPROVED BY

Rob Thompson  


Procedure

Category: General – Health Protection
Subject: Food Premises Inspection – All Food Premises
Division: N/A 
Procedure Number: CA.86.02.100
Effective Date: January 23, 2013

PROCEDURE

Risk Assessment and Frequency:

 1. A risk assessment must be completed annually, as per the Ontario Public Health Standards – Food Safety Protocol. Use the risk assessment screen in Hedgehog to obtain a risk rating for the premises as high, moderate or low.

2. The inspection frequency for fixed food premises, as outlined in the Ontario Public Health Standards – Food Safety Protocol, is:

  • Not less than once every 4 months for high-risk food premises;
  • Not less than once every 6 months for moderate-risk food premises; and
  • Not less than once every 12 months for low-risk food premises.
Compliance Inspections and Re-inspections:

1. Upon arrival at the food premises, the Public Health Inspector (PHI) shall identify him/herself to the owner/operator and state the reason for the visit. The owner/operator shall be provided with the opportunity to accompany the PHI during the inspection.

2. The PHI will attempt to confirm ownership of the premises by observing the operator’s business license and/or other posted licenses or permits (i.e. vendor permit, city/township license).

3. Depending on the type of premises to be inspected, inspections may be done at any reasonable time during the premises normal hours of operation. However, the Manager must approve inspections done outside of regular business hours.

4. The PHI will use the Food Inspection electronic form in Hedgehog to conduct the inspection. Refer to the WDGPH Hedgehog Processes and Procedures Manual: Inspector Role for instructions on how to complete the form. If there is a new owner of the premises, a change in the premise name, or a change in address, the PHI may complete the inspection using a paper inspection report and transfer the inspection information to Hedgehog once the necessary changes to premise information have been made. 

5. If necessary (i.e. during inspection of large facilities with multiple serveries and/or kitchen areas), the PHI may utilize the assigned evidence notebook to capture inspection details observed during the inspection, which will then be transcribed into the Hedgehog inspection report prior to leaving the premises and prior to obtaining an operator signature. Refer to procedure CA.82.02.120 Notebook Documentation.

6. The PHI shall document whether the inspection was scheduled or unannounced, and if the inspection was scheduled, the reason for the scheduled visit and how far ahead of the inspection the visit was scheduled.  When answering this question in Hedgehog, the PHI must select the appropriate canned comment, indicating the WDGPH policy and procedure which was followed during the inspection.

7. The PHI shall document the time at which the inspection was conducted (start and end times), whether the inspection was a joint inspection with another PHI or other individual (i.e. Ministry employee, student PHI etc.).

8. The PHI shall vary the timing of compliance inspections to attempt to ensure that all stages of food preparation and food service are observed during inspections.

9. Each PHI shall take advantage of the opportunity while inspecting the premises to provide food handlers and operators with food safety education and information. Each inspection will vary in length according to the risk assessment category, and the premise specific issues identified during the inspection, as applicable.

10. For high and moderate risk food premises, the PHI will check the appropriate box on the electronic inspection report to indicate whether a certified food handler is present on-site and/or present during food handling.  The PHI will provide the owner/operator with information on upcoming food handler courses, as appropriate.

11. If the food premises is a rural premises served by a non-municipal water supply, the PHI will take a water sample from the kitchen or other faucet used to obtain water for use during food preparation in order to verify that a potable water supply is available. The water sample will be collected as per procedure CA.80.02.109 Rural Food Premises Water Samples and will be sent to a local Public Health laboratory as a non-regulated sample collected under the authority of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA).

12. The PHI will provide educational materials (i.e. fact sheets, updated signage etc) and/or onsite education to the owner/operator/food handler in order to facilitate understanding of safe food handling practices and Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

13. The PHI will record any observed infractions on the Hedgehog inspection form. Where infractions are observed to be non-compliant with Ontario Regulation 562 – Food Premises, the PHI will select ‘NO’ in response to the relevant compliance question, and will select the appropriate canned comment. The PHI will also record any observations relevant to the observed infraction, the required actions to be taken by the premises, and the expected date for compliance for each non-compliant item. Deadlines for compliance will be determined in discussion with the operator and will be based on the severity of the observed infraction and realistic time frames for corrective action.  Operator comments regarding anticipated completion dates and corrective actions to be taken will be documented under the operator response comment section for each relevant item.

14. The time-frame for follow-up re-inspections will depend on the items to be corrected and the importance of these non-compliant items with regards to their potential to result in a food-borne illness or enteric outbreak. Compliance with identified items/practices requiring correction are:

  • Items critical to food safety will be followed-up by the PHI within 72 hours; and
  • Non-critical items can be followed-up by the PHI at the next compliance inspection, or earlier, at the discretion of the PHI.

15. The PHI will record any observed infractions that are corrected during the inspection by selecting ‘CDI’ in response to the relevant compliance question, and will select the appropriate canned comment. The PHI will also record any observations relevant to the observed infraction and the remedial actions taken by the operator to address identified non-compliance.

16. Where the PHI has selected ‘NO’ to one or more questions, the PHI will select ‘Report Reviewed - Action Required’ at the end of the report.

17. The PHI will attempt to observe all applicable aspects of food handling and preparation that are carried out by a premise during inspection. Where a specific process is unable to be observed at the time of inspection (i.e. if no cooling of hazardous foods is taking place at the time of inspection) the PHI will record the item as ‘Not Observed’ on the Hedgehog inspection form and will attempt to verify that safe food handling processes are followed, as per Ontario Regulation 562 – Food Premises, via discussion with the operator/food handler. Operators may be asked questions regarding food handling and storage and may be asked to describe steps that are followed during unobserved stages of food handling. Any items that are not relevant to the premises (i.e. if the premises does not have a mechanical dishwasher on-site) will be selected as ‘N/A’. 

18. The PHI will review the completed inspection report and other applicable forms with the operator/food handler present at the time of inspection. The PHI will discuss and explain the public health significance of the inspection, findings, violations and requirements to comply with the Health Protection and Promotion Act and Food Premises Regulation.

19. The PHI will advise the owner/operator of the expected dates of compliance for items observed during the inspection to be non-compliant with Ontario Regulation 562 - Food Premises.  The owner/operator will be given an opportunity to ask questions or clarify concerns. The operator will be informed of the enforcement consequences of not resolving identified non-compliant items by the deadlines indicated on the inspection report. 

20. The PHI will ask the owner/operator to sign the completed inspection report. The PHI will sign the report after obtaining the signature of the owner/operator. The PHI will indicate on the report the method by which the inspection report will be delivered to the owner/operator (i.e. via fax/email/mail/hand delivery).

  • NOTE: the signature of the owner/operator is not required for completion of the inspection form(s). If the operator refuses to sign the report or is unavailable to sign the report once the inspection is completed, this does not invalidate the inspection report. If the report is unable to be signed due to operator refusal or unavailability this must be documented under the closing comments section of the report.

21. Where a re-inspection of a premise is required in order to address non-compliant items from a previous inspection, all items that were in compliance at the time of the original inspection will be selected as ‘Not Observed’ at the time of re-inspection. Any items that are not relevant to the premises (i.e. if the premises does not have a mechanical dishwasher on-site) will be selected as ‘N/A’. 

22. Where non-compliant items from the original inspection are observed to continue to be not in compliance with Ontario Regulation 562 – Food Premises at the time of re-inspection, enforcement under Part I of the Provincial Offences Act (POA) will be considered, in discussion with the Manager/Supervisor.

23. The PHI will review the details of the re-inspection report with the owner/operator as per steps 17-19 above.

Enforcement Actions Under the HPPA:

24. Where enforcement under Part I of the POA (via issuance of a ticket) is deemed necessary by the PHI, this will be considered in discussion with the Manager/Supervisor and issuance of tickets under this Act will be done within 30 days of the infraction and documented via the completion of a separate inspection report.

25. Non-compliance where a health hazard (as defined by Section 1 of the HPPA) is deemed to exist will result in the issuance of a Section 13 order by a PHI under the HPPA. The Section 13 order may require the closure of a premise, or require the ceasing and desisting or taking of any action necessary to minimize or prevent the health hazard from occurring, as deemed necessary by the PHI. The PHI will issue a verbal order for the item(s) in question at the time of inspection and will document any enforcement actions via a separate inspection report. The PHI will follow-up the verbal order with a written order as soon as is practicable, and will set out the timeframe for compliance with the order. Where the PHI recommends the closure of a premise, this will be determined via consultation with the Manager/Supervisor.

26. The PHI will review the details of the order with the owner/operator present at the premises. The PHI will ensure that the owner/operator understands that failure to comply with the order can result in a legal charge under the HPPA. The PHI will ensure that the owner/operator is aware of the right to appeal the order and the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal.

27. Where a PHI is of the opinion that the condition of a food item may present a health hazard by reason of contamination, adultery or impurity, the PHI may seize and destroy or dispose of the food item, or cause it to be destroyed, as per Section 19 of the HPPA. Where food is destroyed or disposed of during inspection, the PHI will itemize any food items disposed of, including the brand and weight of each item, the reason(s) for disposal and any relevant details, as per procedure CA.80.02.180 Food Condemnation.

28. Additional enforcement or legal actions (such as the issuance of a summons under Part III of the POA) will be considered in instances of continued non-compliance with Ontario Regulation 562 – Food Premises via discussion with the Manager/Supervisor and documented via the completion of a separate inspection report.

Types of Inspections:

Type

Inspection Sub-type

Details

Related Procedure

Required

Compliance inspection

Regular required inspection.

CA.86.02.100

Follow-up

Re-inspection

Re-inspection due to critical infractions observed.

CA.86.02.100

Complaint

Food adulteration/outdated product

Complaint received regarding adulterated food/outdated product

CA.82.02.113
CA.80.02.107

 

Food handling concerns

Complaint received regarding food handling concerns.

CA.80.02.107
CA.82.02.113

 

Food quality concerns

Complaint received regarding food quality.

CA.80.02.107
CA.82.02.113

 

Pest control

Complaint received regarding pest control (i.e. flies, rodents)

CA.80.02.107
CA.82.02.113

 

Sanitation

Complaint received regarding premise cleanliness & sanitation.

CA.80.02.107
CA.82.02.113

 

Suspect food-borne illness

Illness reported in association with food item at/from premise.

CA.82.02.115

Demand

Emergency response

Flood, fire, power outage etc.

 
 

Food recall

Food items recalled by CFIA or MOHLTC etc.

CA.80.02.111

 

Lawyer’s request

   
 

License inspection

Demand by county, City of Guelph, MOHLTC etc.

 
 

LLBO inspection

   
 

Outbreak follow-up

Inspection required - several cases of illness associated with premises

CA.82.02.115

Pre-opening

Initial assessment

Inspection of new premise prior to opening.

CA.86.02.100

Enforcement

Enforcement

Issuance of Section 13 order (HPPA), ticket or summons (Part I or Part III, POA)

 
Complaints and Other Food-Related Investigations:

1. All complaints received with respect to food handling/safety, food-borne outbreak or suspect food-borne illness concerns in a food premises will be entered into Hedgehog as a CSR and investigated within 24 hours as per procedure CA.82.02.113 Complaints.

2. The PHI will conduct an on-site investigation in response to all food-related and food product complaints as per procedure CA.80.02.107 Food Premise, Food-Related and Food Product Complaint Investigation, and will document any relevant observations and/or actions taken in an inspection notebook, CSR and/or Hedgehog inspection report, as applicable.

3. Where complaints associated with suspect food-borne illness are received, these will be followed-up as per procedure CA.82.02.115 Suspect Food-borne Illness Community Food-borne Illness. Where the taking of food samples is deemed necessary as part of a suspect food-borne illness or outbreak investigation, this will be done as per procedure CA.80.02.104 Food Specimen Collection.

4. Where complaints associated with a suspect water-borne outbreak are received, these will be followed up as per procedure CA.82.02.107 Waterborne Outbreak Investigation.

5. When inspection of a food premise is required due to a product recall, this will be done as per procedure CA.80.02.111 Food Recall.

6. Inspection of non-exempt and exempt farmer’s markets will be conducted as per procedure CA.80.02.113 Farmers’ Markets.

7. Inspection of food vendors at special events will be conducted as per procedure CA.80.02.103 Special Events.

8. Where inspection of a food premises involves or suspects non-commercially processed foods, investigation of these foods will be conducted as per procedure CA.80.02.114 Non-Commercial Processed Foods.

9. Where photographs are taken as part of a complaint investigation, these will be taken as per procedure CA.82.02.122 Collecting Photographic Evidence, and documented as per procedure CA.82.02.120 Notebook Documentation.

10. Following the investigation of a food-related complaint, findings will be relayed back to the complainant as per procedure CA.82.02.113 Complaints.

New Food Premises:

New food premises will not receive an opening inspection by WDGPH unless floor plans have been reviewed and approved by WDGPH and unless WDGPH has received proof of a Business License Application from the local municipality if a business license is required. The floor plans should clearly identify all plumbing fixtures and identify separate hand basins to be used for hand washing, sinks/equipment to be used for utensil cleaning and sanitizing, and the location of washrooms, food preparation and food storage areas.  Procedure CA.80.02.106 Approving Plans for New or Renovated Food Premises will be followed. 

City of Guelph Business License By-law:

The PHI shall respond to requests by the City of Guelph for business license inspections. The PHI will look up the last compliance inspection conducted at the premise, and if the inspection was within the last frequency period required (i.e. within the previous four months for a high-risk premise) the PHI may approve the premise for licensing as long as the inspection records indicate no critical infractions. If the last compliance inspection of the premise was not within the required frequency period (i.e. greater than four months previously for a high-risk premises) the PHI must conduct a new inspection of the premises within four weeks of the request. All premise licensing approvals or non-approvals will be forwarded to the City of Guelph Licensing Coordinator by the relevant Program Assistant on a monthly basis, or at a frequency based on request by the City of Guelph.

 

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy: CA.86.01.100 Food Premises Inspection – All Food Premises
CA.80.02.103 Special Events
CA.80.02.104 Food Specimen Collection
CA.80.02.106 Approving Plans for New or Renovated Food Premises
CA.80.02.107 Food Premise, Food-Related and Food Product Complaint Investigation
CA.80.02.109 Rural Food Premises Water Samples
CA.80.02.111 Food Recall
CA.80.02.113 Farmers’ Markets
CA.80.02.114 Non-Commercial Processed Foods
CA.80.02.180 Food Condemnation
CA.82.01.100 Inspection of Institutions
CA.82.02.107 Waterborne Outbreak Investigation
CA.82.02.113 Complaints
CA.82.02.115 Suspect Food-borne Illness Community Food-borne Illness
CA.82.02.120 Notebook Documentation
CA.82.02.122 Collecting Photographic Evidence
WDGPH Hedgehog Processes and Procedures Manual: Inspector Role
Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol
Ontario Public Health Standards – Food Safety Protocol
Ontario Regulation 562 – Food Premises
Health Protection and Promotion Act
Provincial Offences Act  

APPROVED BY

Rob Thompson