Check Then Go FAQ

Pass, Conditional Pass, Closed Signs


What are the Check Then Go signs? 
The Check Then Go signs are a visual summary of the most recent inspection completed.
Pass (Green) – What does this mean?
  • Mostly in compliance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation.
  • Few critical infractions or some non-critical infractions can result in a Pass (Green) sign.
  • Food handling practices do not represent an immediate risk to public health.
  • A follow-up inspection may occur if items need to be corrected. Sometimes minor issues may not be addressed until the next routine inspection.
Conditional Pass (Yellow) – What does this mean?
  • Significant non-compliance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation.
  • The number and/or type of infractions could lead to food-borne illness.
  • Sometimes, significant non-critical infractions can result in a Conditional Pass (Yellow) sign being issued.
  • A follow-up inspection will happen within 24-72 hours (1-3 business days).
Closed (Red) – What does this mean?
  • Food establishment poses a health hazard (i.e. major insect/rodent infestation, no hot/cold running water, sewage back-up, fire, flood, and/or power outage).
  • Food establishment will close and not prepare, serve and/or sell food to the public.
The food establishment must earn a Pass (Green) to be re-opened.
If an establishment has a Conditional Pass (Yellow) why are they still open?
Inspection results and sign colours reflect what was observed during the inspection. Most critical infractions can be corrected right away. For example, contaminated food will be thrown out; food can be removed from broken cooler units, etc. A follow- up inspection will happen within 24-72 hours for outstanding items.
What legal actions can Public Health Inspectors take?
Public Health Inspectors are Provincial Offences Officers. They can issue a ticket or a summons to court when infractions are observed. An owner/operator may be fined up to $5,000 and a corporation up to $25,000 if found guilty.
How can I find out an establishment’s inspection results?
You can:
  1. Ask the establishment to review their most recent inspection report.
  2. View inspection results online.
  3. Call the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5400.
Are all food establishments, in the Health Unit’s region, inspected?
 Yes, all food establishments are required to be inspected by the Health Unit. This includes but it is not limited to:
  • General food services (e.g. restaurants / bars, cafeterias, deli, butcher shops, grocery stores, banquet halls, catering kitchens).
  • Institutional food services (e.g. hospitals, school cafeterias, nursing homes, licensed childcare centres, boarding houses with 10 or more residents).
  • Mobile food services (e.g. hot dog carts, catering vehicles, french fry trucks).
How many times are food establishments inspected per year?
 The number of inspections is based on a risk rating that takes into account:
  • The type and volume of food served.
  • The type of population served (e.g. general public, elderly or very young).
  • The number of food preparation steps (e.g. cooking, cooling, hot holding, etc.).
  • Their history of food-borne illness and/or compliance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation.

Food establishments are inspected 1-3 times per year with follow-up inspections as needed.

Do food establishments know when they will be inspected?
Compliance inspections are never scheduled. Places that are inspected 3 times per year can expect a visit roughly every 4 months. At any time, a visit may occur as the result of a complaint, suspect food-borne illness or recall. Also, inspectors may visit prior to approving Municipal and/or Liquor Licensing requests. Follow-up inspections are often scheduled for outstanding items. The inspector would attend around that date to verify that the items have been fixed.
What are the responsibilities of the food establishment owner/operator?
Owner/operators need to ensure their establishments meet the standards of the Ontario Food Premises Regulation.
What do Health Inspectors look for during food safety inspections?
During inspections, Public Health Inspectors check that food establishments meet the standards of the Ontario Food Premises Regulation. 

Some key items are:

  • Food temperature control; during storage, cooking, holding, and service.
  • Food is protected from cross-contamination and adulteration.
  • Food handlers practice good food handling and personal hygiene, surfaces and equipment are clean and in good repair.
  • A pest control program is in place.

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)