Public Health Inspections

What we inspect

 Food Premises

We are upgrading our public health inspection web application. Inspection results are currently only available for public health inspections conducted before June 14, 2018. Inspection results by facility name and address may be requested by calling 613-580-6744 or emailing healthsante@ottawa.ca.

Search by facility name or address for Food safety inspection results.

Ottawa Public Health is mandated under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act to inspect a wide range of food premises to improve food safety standards and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Public Health Inspectors monitor compliance with Provincial Regulations, and promote food safety and cleanliness in Ottawa's retail food industry.

Inspectors visit food establishments, both on a routine and complaint related basis, to make sure any deficiencies are quickly corrected, and prepare a report about each visit. This report is posted online shortly after the inspection and includes any deficiencies found at the establishment.

 Personal Service Settings Inspection Reports

We are upgrading our public health inspection web application. Inspection results are currently only available for public health inspections conducted before June 14, 2018. Inspection results by facility name and address may be requested by calling 613-580-6744 or emailing healthsante@ottawa.ca.

Search by facility name or address for Personal services setting inspection results.

As part of its mandate under the Ontario Public Health Standards, 2008 and the Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Services Settings Protocol, 2008 , Ottawa Public Health (OPH) inspects Personal Services Settings (PSS) to improve infection prevention and control practices and to minimize the risk of blood-borne/other types of infections during the delivery of personal services. PSS refer to settings in which aesthetic services are delivered, such as but not limited to:

  • hairdressing and barbershops;
  • tattoo and body piercing studios;
  • nail salons;
  • electrolysis;
  • and various other services.

Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) monitor compliance with Provincial Best Practices, and promote safety and cleanliness in Ottawa's PSS facilities.

PHIs inspect PSS establishments, both on a routine and complaint related basis, to make sure any deficiencies are quickly corrected, and prepare a report about each visit. Residents are encouraged to look for a certificate - issued by OPH - that ensures the premises has been inspected by a Public Health Inspector.

Residents are urged to consider whether they may be submitting to a procedure that would reasonably be considered a medical intervention. If this is the case, please question the operator and, if in doubt, contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to inquire. OPH is also available for questions about issues of cleanliness and hygiene at 613-580-6744 ext. 23806.

 Recreational Water Inspections

We are upgrading our public health inspection web application. Inspection results are currently only available for public health inspections conducted before June 14, 2018. Inspection results by facility name and address may be requested by calling 613-580-6744 or emailing healthsante@ottawa.ca.

Search by facility name or address for Recreational water inspection results.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is mandated under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) and the Ontario Public Health Standards to inspect recreational water facilities, public beaches, and waterfronts that are part of a recreational camp, to ensure compliance with safety and injury prevention standards, as well as to reduce the risk of waterborne illness.

Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) monitor compliance with O. Reg. 565 /90 (Public Pools) and promote pool safety and cleanliness in Ottawa's recreational water facilities. OPH staff visit public pools, public spas, public wading pools, and splash pads, on a routine and complaint related basis, to make sure any infractions are corrected in a timely manner, and prepare a report about each visit.  This report is posted online shortly after the conclusion of the inspection, and includes any infractions found at the time of inspection.  If necessary, follow-up inspections are conducted to ensure compliance. Inspection reports remain on OPH's website for 2 years.

As all inspected premises are listed on OPH's disclosure website, any premise not listed has not been visited by a PHI. If you discover a discrepancy or have any questions about a particular public pool, or public spa/whirlpool or if there is an establishment not listed on this website, please call 613-580-6744, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by email at healthsante@ottawa.ca

OPH also monitors public beaches in accordance with the Recreational Water Protocol, 2016 which includes the inspection of any public beach that is owned or operated by a municipality to which the general public has access, and waterfronts that are part of recreational camps. Our staff conduct routine beach surveillance by collecting beach water samples on a regular basis and by assessing the beach for health hazards that may exist. The water results take 18 to 24 hours to process in the laboratory, and as such, swim and no-swim advisories are issued based on sample results taken from the previous day.  The results and the swim and no-swim advisories are posted both online and at the beach so the public can check before they choose to swim.  If you have any questions about the sample results or if you are concerned about the safety at a public beach please call 613-580-6744, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by email at healthsante@ottawa.ca.

 Legend of results
Beginning in November 2015, Ottawa Public Health introduced an online food safety disclosure trial that uses a colour rating system to display inspection results. The colour-rating system aims to make inspection results more clear for the public, to improve food safety standards, to recognize businesses that consistently uphold food safety practices and to reduce the risk of food-borne illness.

For more information about the online disclosure trial, visit: Enhancements to Online Food Safety Inspection Results at Food Premises.

Inspections Legend

Colour

Meaning

Explanation

Green

 green icon indicating approved for operation

Approved for Operation

Premise has been inspected and is approved for operation

Yellow

Yellow icon indicating enforcement action(s) has been taken

Enforcement Action(s) Taken

Premise has been inspected, is approved for operation, but enforcement actions has been taken as a result of infractions observed during that inspection

Red

Red icon indicating premise has been closed

Closed

Premise has been closed due to the immediate presence of a health hazard

Blue

 

In Compliance

Not in Compliance

Food premises inspected before November 2015 are displayed in blue, with results showing that they are either 'in compliance', or 'not in compliance' with food safety regulations. As food premises are inspected, results are displayed using the corresponding green, yellow, or red colour.

Frequently asked questions

How do I report a restaurant or make a complaint?

Call 613-580-6744 to speak with a public health inspector during regular business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or 613-580-2400 or 3-1-1 after hours.

What types of food establishments are inspected?

Food establishments such as: bakeries, bars, cafeterias, canteens, coffee shops, convenience food counters, day care kitchens, grocery delis, mobile food vendors, pizzerias, pubs, restaurants, special event food vendors and retail stores with food preparation are inspected by Ottawa Public Health.

What do Public Heath Inspectors look for during an inspection?

Public health inspectors monitor all aspects of food operation to confirm that businesses are complying with provincial regulations (Ontario Food Premises Regulation 562. Violations are categorized as critical infractions and non-critical infractions.

What constitutes a critical infraction?

These are infractions that could contribute to foodborne illness.

Some examples are:

  • hazardous foods - such as poultry, meat, fish and shellfish - are not cooked to the proper internal temperature required to kill potentially harmful bacteria (e.g. Hamburger Disease and Salmonella)
  • the same types of hazardous foods are not refrigerated or frozen enough to stop the growth of harmful bacteria
  • ready-to-eat foods contaminated by being in contact with raw foods, chemicals or pesticides
  • a potential for food contamination due to insect or rodent infestation at the food establishment

What constitutes a non-critical infraction?

These are infractions that impact on the overall sanitary condition of the food establishment. However, they do not directly contribute to foodborne illness.

  • cleaning and maintaining food preparation equipment is impeded by either their design or how they are arranged in the kitchen
  • food handlers are not wearing clean aprons and/or hair restraints
  • lack of approved testing methods to measure the sanitizer concentration in the dishwashers
  • insect and vermin-proof containers are not provided where required
  • garbage has not been removed to maintain clean, sanitary conditions on the premises

What constitutes a high-risk food establishment? (Minimum of three inspections per year)

  • a high risk food establishment is a premises that prepares and handles large quantity of hazardous foods (such as poultry, fish, and beef) that are often involved with foodborne illness - like restaurants, banquet halls and cafeterias)
  • it may also use multi-step preparation for processing food - such as defrosting, cooking, cooling, storing, reheating, preparing, hot holding, slicing, de-boning, mixing, and serving
  • establishments implicated in the past with foodborne illness may also be considered a high-risk food establishment

What constitutes a medium risk food establishment? (Minimum of two inspections per year)

  • a medium risk food establishment is a premises prepares hazardous foods to a lesser degree than the criteria outlined in high risk food establishments
  • a medium-risk establishment prepares non-hazardous foods with extensive handling and/or high volume of patrons (e.g. bakeries)

What constitutes a low risk food establishment? (Minimum of one inspection per year)

  • a low risk food establishment is a premises, that prepares and/or serves non-hazardous foods with a lesser degree of handling and/or smaller volume of patrons
  • the premises has a food storage facility for non-hazardous foods only
  • the low-risk category also applies to food establishments - such as variety stores - where the main public health concern is sanitation and maintenance
What are the timeframes for a food establishment to correct any deficiency?

Critical infractions that pose an immediate risk of foodborne illness must be corrected immediately. For non-critical infractions, the timing of the follow-up inspection is at the discretion of the public health inspector. Very often, minor deficiencies are followed up within three business days or as identified by the public health inspector and the food establishment operator.

What actions are taken if a critical infraction is not corrected?

Public health inspectors have many options and means to bring about compliance with food safety standards and regulations. The first priority is to educate the food establishment owner or operator. If the education fails, enforcement options will be used - including fines, prosecution and closure.

What types of infractions could result in a closure order?

A closure can be ordered if a health hazard is found at a food establishment, and it is not corrected. Examples of the health hazards include:

  • extensive evidence of food contamination
  • insufficient amount of potable water to operate the food establishment in a sanitary fashion
  • sewage back-up into food preparation or storage areas
Submit a complaint about a facility

Important: to report an immediate hazard to people or property, call 3-1-1. 

Submit a complaint about a facility

(For complaints regarding a health care setting, please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744)

 

 

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