Saskatchewan eateries face zero fines despite nearly 32,000 health violations
The province of Saskatchewan apparently has a longstanding problem with actually fining restaurants that violate health codes.
An in-depth report from the CBC has revealed that, despite the fact that the province's restaurants faced more than 30,000 health violations in total over the past three years, not a single one of them received a fine from the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Is this what Conservative Gov'ts mean but actually happens, when they say they are "cutting red tape"?— Steve Fleck (@stevefleck) December 30, 2019
The data was collated from thousands of inspections of nearly 5,000 eateries across the province between spring 2016 and spring 2019.
The most prevalent issues found were related to maintenance and general sanitation (6,277 infractions), followed by food storage and equipment (2,734 infractions) and finishing materials (2050 infractions).
Some individual establishments had more than 100 infractions over the three-year time period.
Though zero fines were issued, the CBC says that the province did forcefully close a dozen restaurants in recent years, and has focused moreso on education and changing habits through license restrictions than on punitive fining.
Fines don’t necessarily lead to compliance. Education is most valuable in correcting the problems.— Rosalie Wynne (@Saskalily4) December 30, 2019
According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, the purpose of food safety inspections in the province is "to prevent or minimize the risk of food-borne illness and to reduce safety hazards."
In provinces with higher populations, like Ontario and B.C., inspections are divided up between regional health authorities. In Saskatchewan, one body enforces for the entire province.
Inspections are performed routinely across the board at least once per fiscal year, but can be more frequent if there has been a complaint against the business or if it violated any codes in the past.
The inspection information for restaurants across Canada is admittedly a lot to wade through, but certain apps, like Tomati, can help diners see the particulars of an establishment's food safety record.
Amused how highly regarded the owners place "none of my customers came to me about food poisoning!"— Just a bear (@just_one_bear) December 30, 2019
Though the governmental body overseeing the health and safety of Saskatchewan's eateries has deemed them safe enough to remain open regardless of any infractions, the sheer number of offences is pretty cringeworthy and may make residents question what's behind the plate in front of them or the kitchen door beside them the next time they dine out.
@sherbearyqr at Little Saigon 2 in Regina, which had the most infractions of any Saskatchewan restaurant.
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