Calgary is taking some heat for a lack of effort to have full health inspections on all Calgary restaurants.
Get the details here: https://cfoodc.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/calgary-restaurant-inspection-slides/
I think that most people take it for granted that the government agencies responsible for taking action to maintain a certain level of quality in food preparation and sanitization are working non stop for the health and safety of the public. However, with a report like the one in Calgary with only about 40% of restaurants being inspected must make people second guess their option to try a new restaurant. Perhaps sticking with the ones you like, know, and trust is the best bet.
Enter Scarborough Ontario. Like, know and trust flies right out the window after as many as 37 reported food poisonings and 1 death resulting from poor sanitation, poor food preparation, and an insect infestation at a local Chinese restaurant. This was a popular well liked restaurant with seating for about 600!
Get the details here: https://cfoodc.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/restaurant-closure-is-scarborough/.
Though it is easy to start with the jokes surrounding Chinese food and infestation this is a very serious matter. Dining out should not be a high risk adventure like sky diving and white water rafting.
I think the public should demand a higher rate of inspections. Is once a year enough? I don’t think so. A lot can happen in a year especially with staff turn over and management changes. Perhaps there should be mini walk through’s during the year on a random basis. This of course assumes that the annual inspection is being done and the city of Calgary has proven that to be a bad one. Additionally, as we move into the holiday season and business picks up sanitation becomes a larger issue and is easy to over look in an effort to get meals out to the tables as fast as possible.
On a positive note, restaurant goers can help each other. That’s why Canada Food Critic is a reality. Read and write reviews regularly every time you dine out. Report the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have always said that Canada Food Critic can save you a bad meal and now it appears that it can save you more than a bad meal, it may save your health!
As we come into the holidays everyone tends to dine out more often. Please take a few minutes to read and write reviews. Also, if the restaurant you are visiting is not yet reviewed perhaps you can avoid a bad experience by reading this article: http://www.canadafoodcritic.com/articles/index.php?ID=6 on 10 ways to spot a bad restaurant.