October 30, 2014

Ottawa Proposes Mandatory Training for Employees at Cited Restaurants

Tables in a restaurantThe City of Ottawa, Canada may require food safety training for employees if restaurants and businesses violate food safety regulations.  A proposal on this matter will be submitted next week to the Ottawa City Council. At this time, training is voluntary and the city offers certification programs to food service workers.

Food facilities with more than four “critical” violations in one year would be required to participate in training. Critical violations include the presence of insect or rodent infestation, not following personal hygiene rules, improperly cooking food, storing food incorrectly, or improperly maintaining premises and equipment.

Currently, the city posts restaurant inspection scores that the public can access. Inspectors visit food facilities and establishments on a scheduled basis and will visit a facility after complaints. Before a restaurant or business opens, it must get approval from Public Health. A restaurant must submit copies of plans, including refrigeration and freezer units needed, hot food holding equipment, and a building plan.

Public health officials in the city conducted almost 14,000 inspections in 2011. During that time, 55 violation notices were sent to 39 facilities.

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