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The Toronto food inspection and disclosure system: A case study

Sylvanus Thompson (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)
Ron de Burger (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)
Olayemi Kadri (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 March 2005




To describe and then review the Toronto food inspection to describe that inspection system and to assess the mandated completion rates, compliance rates, impact of food‐handler training and levels of standardization in inspection and enforcement activities.


The study included a review and summary of information relating to compliance inspections as well as analysis of data stored in the Toronto Healthy Environments Information System using descriptive and inferential statistics.


Several efficiencies were identified including a 17 per cent increase in completion rates between 2001 and 2003; increased compliance with regulatory requirements from 78 per cent in 2001 to 88 per cent in 2003; a reduction in infractions known to be associated with food‐borne illness; and greater compliance in food premises with certified food handlers compared with those without.

Practical implications

All public health units in Ontario, Canada, conduct routine inspection of food establishments to determine compliance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulations, but few of them disclose the results.


Disclosure of inspection results offers an incentive to operators to comply with the regulations and provides an opportunity to consumers to make informed purchasing choices. Furthermore, investment in food‐handler training and certification programs have long‐term positive implications for food safety.



Thompson, S., de Burger, R. and Kadri, O. (2005), "The Toronto food inspection and disclosure system: A case study", British Food Journal, Vol. 107 No. 3, pp. 140-149.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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