What do Public Health Inspectors do?

Public Health Inspectors in Perth County routinely visit food premises within the county to:

  • conduct routine inspections
  • do re-inspections; and
  • follow-up on complaints and suspected foodborne illnesses.

The premises visited include: restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias, farmers’ markets, chip trucks, hospital kitchens, and daycare centre kitchens, to mention a few.

What happens during a public health inspection?

During inspections, Public Health Inspectors look at:

  • food storage temperatures, hot and cold
  • cooking, reheating and cooling times and temperatures of food
  • personal hygiene of employees, including good hand hygiene
  • food production methods and procedures
  • flow of food through receiving, storage, preparation, and service
  • dish and equipment washing and sanitizing procedures
  • food sources
  • pest control
  • methods of garbage collection, holding and disposal
  • cleanliness of floors, walls, ceilings, equipment and other surfaces.

Annual risk assessments are completed at every food premises in Perth County. During the risk assessment, Public Health Inspectors consider:

  • the types of food sold
  • how food is prepared
  • the population served
  • the compliance record of the food premises
  • the premises’ history regarding foodborne illnesses.

The risk assessment will determine if the establishment is high, moderate or low risk. The number of routine inspections a premises receives each year is based on this risk rating:

  • a high-risk restaurant will be inspected once every four months
  • a moderate-risk restaurant will be inspected once every six months
  • a low-risk premises, like a convenience store, will be inspected once every 12 months.

Copies of inspection reports are available on request from the Health Unit. If you wish to receive information on a food premises, please contact the Administrative Assistant for the Health Protection Department at 519-271-7600 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 extension 252.