Imagine - It’s Valentine’s Day and you’ve been planning a romantic evening for you and your loved one. The evening includes a romantic dinner at that fancy new restaurant in town – the one all your friends have been raving about. When your food arrives, it looks, smells and tastes amazing. You finish off the evening by sharing a decadent dessert that would make anyone believe they were on cloud 9. Dinner was an overwhelming success!
But wait…did you remember to check before you choose?
Check Before You Choose is a website that shares up-to-date Public Health inspection results for food establishments in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. At Public Health, 1 to 3 times a year, our Public Health Inspectors routinely inspect food premises like restaurants and food trucks. The goal of these inspections is to reduce the risk of foodborne illness and infection for the public.
When looking up a restaurant or food establishment on Check Before You Choose, you’ll be able to see a history of inspection results. It’s important to keep this history in mind when deciding if you should eat somewhere, as the results of one inspection only provide a snapshot of the conditions at the restaurant on that given day at that given time.
If a restaurant has received an infraction, consider the type of infraction and its severity. Do they appear to be repeat offenders? Or does it look like it was a one-time issue that’s since been corrected? You’ll see that infractions are categorized as critical or non-critical. Critical infractions can pose an immediate risk of foodborne illness, while non-critical infractions are not likely to result in illness.
For example, if a food handler left that steak you were thinking about ordering for dinner at room temperature for more than two hours, we would consider this a critical infraction. If an inspector found a dirty ventilation hood that required cleaning, this would be considered a non-critical infraction.
Here at Public Health, we don’t want you to have an unhappy ending to your romantic evening, because who wants a romantic night to end like this…
Fast-forward to later that evening. Your stomach isn’t feeling so hot. In fact, you’ve been stuck in the washroom for the last half hour. Your food just isn’t sitting right, you think it might be food poisoning. Slowly, you begin to see your chance at romance fade away…
Don’t let a restaurant choice ruin your chance at romance! Remember to Check Before You Choose!
What should you do if you think you have food poisoning?
Contact Public Health by calling 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4753. We’ll ask you about your symptoms and the food you ate or the service provided. The information you provide will be kept confidential, and will help us determine if there is a problem with the establishment.
For medical advice, talk to your doctor or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
Have a question or complaint about a food establishment? Call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4753