Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to find a specific restaurant type facility on Inspection InSite?

In most cases you can quickly find the facility that you are looking for by accurately entering the facility name into the search box located above the map. Please note that the map feature is limited to 15 map pins that are the best result for the search request. For searches that exceed the 15 map pins we suggest that you use the table view instead of the map view. The table view will often provide the facility you are looking for on the first page.

What are some of the differences between the old and the new website?

It's easier to locate a particular facility using a new map and table view feature. There are now detailed comments about infractions identified by public health inspectors. This gives viewers more meaningful information to help them make an informed decision about where to dine.

Inspections completed since March 20, 2015 have been done with a new electronic (tablet) reporting system. They include more detailed information, and use the term "No" to indicate non-compliance. (Inspections prior to March 20, 2015 are labeled "Unsatisfactory" if a facility is non-compliant.)

Inspections done before March 20, 2015 used paper-based inspection reports. That information has been entered on the new website, but it is not as robust or user-friendly as information for inspections done after March 20th.

The new website does not contain re-inspection priorities. Re-inspection priorities are used as a scheduling tool by the public health inspectors and are not intended to reflect the safe operation of the facility. However, the new site does provide comments that give viewers a sense of how a facility has complied with food safety requirements over a span of time.

Why do some of the inspection reports completed after March 20th show one or more infractions without the new, detailed comments?

Public health inspectors are now using an electronic inspection system that allows them to select standardized “canned” comments when an infraction is observed. When selected these canned comments are posted on Inspection InSite and provide viewer with details on specific infraction and the section of Act/regulations/standards that was found to be out of compliance. There may be times when an inspector did not select a canned comment but instead entered a hand-typed comment to explain the infraction. Hand-typed comments are not disclosed as they may contain private information including names or proprietary practices. Since October 2015 adjustments have been made to improve on the usage of canned comments for every infraction. This will ensure the public is provided with accurate and detailed inspection information.

Can the owner/operator of a restaurant type facility request that the details of an inspection of their facility not be posted on this website?

No. Public release of this kind of information meets the province's objective of transparency and is in line with disclosure practices in other provinces. Saskatchewan has posted this type of information since 2009.

The Food Safety Regulations, which are in place to ensure the health of the public is protected, enable Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) and the Ministry of Health to publicly release the details of inspections associated with restaurant type facilities.

Can the owner/operator of a restaurant type facility select what inspection information about their facility is posted on this website?

No. Reports are posted to meet the province's commitment to transparency. However, personal information is not posted nor is information related t an active complaint or communicable disease investigation.

What if the owner/operator of a restaurant type facility disagrees with the information about their facility that is posted on this website?

Owners/operators that have concerns regarding their facility information on the website may contact the local RHA Public Health Inspection Manager to have the information reviewed.

What is the scope and purpose of a food safety inspection program?

In Saskatchewan, public health inspectors employed by RHAs inspect approximately 5,000 restaurant type facilities each year. The goal of a food safety inspection is to prevent or minimize the risk of food-borne illness and to reduce safety hazards through education and enforcement. The main duties of a public health inspector during the inspection are to observe, monitor, document findings, recommend corrective action and educate. Depending on the findings during the inspection, enforcement procedures may be initiated.

What do the online reports include?

The online inspection reports reflect the condition of the restaurant type facilities at the time of the inspection. They do not guarantee the condition of the facilities at all times. The online report shows the name and address of the restaurant type facility, the type of inspection (routine, follow-up, complaint, demand) and identifies infractions found during the inspection.

Is the website always up-to-date?

Inspection reports are generally uploaded within one working day of the inspection.

What do I do when I can’t find a specific restaurant type facility inspection report online?

Check your search criteria to ensure you have the correct name, address and spelling of the facility. New features of this site, such as the map and table views, allow you to narrow your search.

If you are still not able to find what you are looking for, you are encouraged to contact the RHA within which the facility is located. Contact information for RHA public health inspection offices is available at:

http://healthinspections.saskatchewan.ca/Home/Contact

How long are the restaurant type facility inspection reports available online?

Historical inspection reports currently date back to January 2014. Reports will be available for the previous three years provided there are no changes to facility ownership.

What types of inspections are conducted on restaurant type facilities?

Inspection Type

Details

Routine

  • Routine inspections are usually planned and unannounced.

Follow-up

  • Follow-up inspections are used to verify that previously identified infractions have been addressed.

Complaint

  • Complaint inspections are responses to complaints a health region receives.

Demand

  • Demand inspections are requested by an operator or a third party.

What does a public health inspector look for when inspecting a restaurant type facility?

Public health inspectors inspect restaurant type facilities for compliance with The Food Safety Regulations and supporting standards focusing on the types of infractions that directly or indirectly cause food-borne illnesses.

It is important to understand that when infractions are found in restaurant type facilities operating with a valid licence, it does not mean that the food prepared within the facility is not safe to eat.

How often are restaurants type facilities inspected?

RHAs strive to inspect restaurant type facilities at least once every 12 months. Routine inspections of these facilities are unannounced. Inspection frequency is based on factors associated with the operation of the facility such as type and variety of food served, extent of food handling, and history of poor compliance.

During a routine inspection, public health inspectors assess the number and type of infractions; the infractions are weighted to determine when the next inspection will take place. Depending on the infractions identified during the inspection, some re-inspections take place within days whereas in other instances, the re-inspection may not take place for several months. If necessary, public health inspectors will use various enforcement methods to gain compliance.

Individual RHA policy may result in more frequent routine inspections.

How are the regulations enforced?

Compliance with regulations can usually be achieved through education and discussion with the owner/operator. If stronger measures are needed, a public health inspector has a number of enforcement options (e.g. attaching conditions to licences, issuing probationary licences, suspending or cancelling licences, conducting formal hearings, laying charges, and/or issuing orders). Many of these enforcement decisions or orders can be reviewed or appealed.

Under what circumstances would a restaurant type facility be closed?

A facility would be closed if there was a risk to public health. The following are examples of when this might occur:

  • foodborne illness outbreak

  • lack of safe, clean potable water

  • sewage backup

  • serious unsanitary conditions

  • serious insect/rodent infestations

  • heat/smoke/water damage

Can the public get detailed reports and enforcement information?

A copy of the actual inspection report and any enforcement information associated with the restaurant type facility is available upon submission of an application to the RHA. There is a $30.00 processing fee. For more information, contact the local RHA in which the facility operates:

http://healthinspections.saskatchewan.ca/Home/Contact

Are there different types of licences for restaurant type facilities?

Three different licences can be issued to a restaurant type facility; these are:

Licence - Valid for up to two years from the date of issuance.

Conditional Licence - Terms or conditions under which a restaurant type facility must operate may be attached to a licence. For example, a conditional licence may be issued to limit food service to take-out if public washrooms are not available or to restrict menu items where equipment is lacking or limited.

Probationary Licence - A regular licence can be cancelled and replaced with a probationary licence that establishes timelines for the correction of infractions.

How are complaints about restaurant type facilities managed?

Public health inspectors will investigate a complaint and consider the regulatory requirements and the degree of public health risk before determining an appropriate course of action. Complaints about specific facilities should be directed to the regional health authority in which the facility is located.

What should one do if they think they may have contracted a foodborne illness from a restaurant type facility?

If the individual is seriously ill, they should seek the attention of their health care professional. Concerns about a possible foodborne illness should be raised with the public health inspector of the RHA within which the restaurant is located.