HNHU to share inspection findings

New era of disclosure at health unit

Notices like this will become more prominent in the local area in the new year now that the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is preparing to be more transparent with inspection reports of businesses it monitors. These include grocery stores and other food vendors, public pools and spas, day-care centres, tobacco retailers, tattoo parlours, beauty salons and barbershops. Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit / Contributed graphic

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Residents of Haldimand and Norfolk will be learning a lot more about the businesses they patronize in the new year.

And not all the information forthcoming will be pleasant.

Wednesday, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit announced there will be greater disclosure in the new year about the businesses they monitor.

Local residents can look forward to easily-accessible inspection reports on a host of businesses, including restaurants, food stores, food trucks and the like.

“This approach will improve transparency and help residents make informed choices about the businesses they choose to visit,” Kwesi Douglas, program manager for the environmental health team at the health unit, said in a news release.

“We have been conducting routine fixed and mobile premise inspections in both counties for a number of years, but now information will be made more easily available to the public.”

Also on deck for greater disclosure are public pools and spas, day-care centres, tobacco vendors, and beauty salons, tattoo parlours and barbershops.

Health units are stepping up public reporting in response to new provincial regulations. The posting of inspection reports for pools and spas starts in February.

The inspection information that will be posted on the internet will depend on the type of facility inspected.

Information may include all infractions noted during the inspection and whether the premise was in compliance at the time of the inspection.

“I think it’s important for the general public to know that our inspection results are a snapshot in time,” said Douglas. “If a premise is in compliance at the time of the inspection, it doesn’t guarantee that the premise will be in compliance at all times.”

In addition to the new website, the health unit will issue notices called a “certification of inspection.”

The notice will be posted by the owner or operator at the request of the public health inspector who conducted the inspection. The public will be able to see the date the inspection was completed and if a re-inspection is required.

The inspection results will be found on the health unit’s Inspect Our Community website at inspectOURcommunity.hnhss.ca.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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