Measure of confidence

Karen Wells
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There isn’t a person out there who doesn’t dine at least every now and then, whether it be fast food, a family restaurant or fine dining establishment.

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the closed doors of these kitchens? Many times you can hear the clanging and banging of dishes and pots and pans in use, but you don’t really get to see what goes on behind the scenes. Then you get up to pay your bill at the end of the meal and catch a glimpse inside the kitchen while a waitress brings out a meal to some other diners who decided to visit the same restaurant. All of a sudden you feel your lunch coming back to haunt you as the scene in the kitchen leaves a lot to be desired in terms of sanitation. Thankfully this seems to be the exception for most restaurants locally and throughout the province. But wouldn’t you like to be able to know beforehand if a restaurant has been keeping up with all necessary health code requirements?

Diners need not have to wonder anymore. The Provincial Government Service NL last week introduced a new online service that makes restaurant inspection reports available to the general public.

If there are food safety standards in question during an inspection they are noted. Also noted is what has been, or will be done to remedy the situation. Everything from coolers that are too hot or too cold, to thawing procedures, to sanitation and cross-contamination issues are divulged in these reports. There are headings for critical items that need to be addressed immediately as they could be potential health/safety issues. There’s also non-critical items that might not be immediately related to food handling safety and preparation, but contribute to the overall requirements of a properly function kitchen/restaurant.

The food establishment owner who follows all the necessary specifications and/or quickly addresses any issues identified in a report, should be glad for their clientele to know they have a clean kitchen in proper working order, with safe food storage, handling and preparation guidelines in place.

If there are restaurant/take-out owners who have a problem with making these reports public, maybe they are the ones who should take a closer look at their kitchens and the food they are serving to their customers. The food establishment owner who follows all the necessary specifications and/or quickly addresses any issues identified in a report, should be glad for their clientele to know they have a clean kitchen in proper working order, with safe food storage, handing and preparation guidelines in place.

To see if your favourite restaurant makes the grade, or to check out the reports of restaurants you might plan to visit, check out www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/. The site is user friendly and it only takes a few clicks to check-up on a dining establishment that you and your family might visit in the near future.

 

 Karen Wells

editor@pilotnl.ca

 

 

Organizations: Provincial Government Service NL

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