Today, Toronto is celebrating the first ever World Food Safety Day, an international awareness day proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to promote action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks. The theme of this year’s inaugural World Food Safety Day is “food safety is everyone’s business.”
The way food is produced, stored, handled and consumed affects the safety of food. DineSafe is TPH’s food safety program that inspects all establishments serving and preparing food in the city. TPH’s food safety inspectors’ work helps to make sure that residents and visitors can dine out in Toronto confident that food has been prepared in safe and healthy environments.
Every year, through the DineSafe program, TPH inspects more than 16,000 food establishments across the city. These inspections result in a green pass sign, a yellow conditional pass sign or a red closed notice based on the food safety conditions observed by an inspector. All food establishments are required to post these colour-coded inspection notices so that they are visible to patrons. Inspection results are also posted on the searchable DineSafe website: toronto.ca/dinesafe.
“Toronto is a beautiful city that I’m very proud to call home. We have so many unique dining experiences to offer our residents and visitors alike. From our Historic Distillery District, to the Entertainment District along King Street, and the city’s Queen West and Ossington neighbourhoods, food trucks, festivals and beyond, our city truly has so many food choices to offer everyone. Through the DineSafe program our health inspectors work to protect and promote good health each and every day for all 2.9 million residents and visitors when dining out in establishments across the city. Today is an important day to raise awareness about this critical and valuable public health work that helps keep us safe, healthy and strong,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
Through DineSafe, TPH inspects any place that is used for the preparation and/or sale of food for human consumption in Toronto. This includes hot dog stands to corner stores with salad bars and cafes to hotel restaurants. TPH works closely with the operators and owners of these food establishments and our partners in the food service community to ensure that Torontonians are kept safe and the economy continues to thrive.
To promote food safety, TPH also operates a Food Handler Certification Program in support of the city’s DineSafe bylaw. This bylaw requires at least one certified food handler (at the supervisory level) to be on site at an establishment when food is prepared, processed, served, packaged or stored. To date, more than 22,000 food handlers have been certified by TPH.
More information on food safety tips is available at toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/food-safety