Edmonton posts restaurant inspections July 1, 2008

Capital Health officially launches its new restaurant inspection website on Canada Day, 2008.

The agency is responsible for health care in the Edmonton area and inspects more than 8,000 restaurants and other health premises.

The new online database is being unveiled almost two years after an Edmonton Journal series revealed just how dirty some of the city’s restaurant kitchens really are. The series was based on a computerized analysis of Capital Health’s inspection database and revealed that not only were there many food-handling mistakes, but that inspectors rarely cracked down on dirty establishments.

The new system will disclose critical food-handling violations discovered by inspectors during the five most recent inspections since April 1, 2008, and during any repeat inspections in the intervening periods. Critical violations are errors that can make you sick.

Edmonton follows Toronto, Waterloo Region, Porcupine Health Unit (Timmins area), Halton Region, Peel Region, Niagara Region, and the Vancouver area in posting inspection information online. The City of Hamilton has promised repeatedly to do so since 2001, but has failed to follow through.

Newspapers in Hamilton, Halifax and Toronto have all published major series on food premise inspections.