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Check out before you dine out

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health is taking an important step in launching its “Check Before You Choose” website today. Up to now, people wanting information on infractions uncovered by health inspections of restaurants could get it by contacting the public health unit. But posting the information online takes things to a whole new level of transparency and usefulness.
Fortunately, there isn’t a big problem with food safety in restaurants locally, judging by the small number of tickets issued last year by the health unit for serious infractions – just five of them. Let’s hope the easier availability of health inspection results doesn’t result in big trouble for some restaurants. Minor missteps shouldn’t have catastrophic consequences.
It’s good to see that the health unit envisions the new website – – going beyond food in the future. Part of the reason the name “Check Before You Choose” was picked is that it’s not food-specific and lends itself to incorporating results of other types of inspections at other types of premises. These include personal services premises such as tattoo parlours, says public health official Shawn Zentner.
The health unit devotes a lot of effort to safeguarding us all through its various inspections. Making the results available at the click of a mouse (no, not the furry kind that can plague restaurants!) just seems right.

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