Food poisoning is nasty, makes you feel beyond terrible, and more than 4 million Canadians get it every year (Health Canada, 2015). My worst encounter with this gastric invader followed a scrumptious chicken dish at a beautiful restaurant in Florida. To make things worse, I’d insisted my hubby finish my meal since it tasted so good – a score still unsettled. It hit me in the wee hours of the morning and by noon we were both fighting for space in the bathroom. With our six-month-old in tow and a flight home scheduled for the next day, it was two days we wouldn’t wish on anyone!
Contaminated food can make you very sick. For some people, including pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems, food poisoning can be very dangerous and can lead to long-term health complications and even death if not treated properly. Unsafe food handling practices put everyone at risk. Places where food is handled, prepared and served (including your home) can be breeding grounds for toxins and bacteria that cause food-borne illness.
If your September is as hectic as mine, your family may be eating out more than planned, so today I want to share information about Halton Region’s Dinewise program. Dinewise “provides customers with a way to find out if the restaurant they are eating in meets standards for food safety as set out by the Ontario government.” Our public health inspectors at Halton Region perform food safety inspections regularly to ensure standards are met.
Two key requirements of the Dinewise program is that an establishment:
- Posts a “Certificate of Inspection” visible to patrons
- Provides the “Summary of Inspection” reports upon request
Check out your family’s favourite restaurant in Halton Region’s directory of restaurants database to review their food premise inspection report.
So the next time you order take out from your local greasy spoon, keep this little nugget of information in mind. Your family will thank you!
Did you know about Dinewise?
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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) s.imply dial 311 or 905-825-6000