The Ottawa Rickshaws Blog

Street-level Perspective of Ottawa
You May Be Eating At Filthy Restaurants–But You’ll Never Know

You May Be Eating At Filthy Restaurants–But You’ll Never Know


By Adam Slight

DineSafe is a municipal program in Toronto that monitors the food safety inspections of the city’s restaurants and food joints and announces those results to the world. It just celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

The program not only makes these results available, but flags these restaurants on a map of the city. If you’re going out for dinner all you have to do is search your prospective restaurant in an online search bar and you will see if your restaurant is safe to eat at or not.

I think it is time to introduce a similar program in Ottawa.

Everyone has the right to know that they are eating out safely, and while the introduction of this program may shock diners (“I’ve been eating there for 10 years!”), I think it is necessary for everyone’s well-being.

You’d be surprised what sorts of places get dinged for serving food in unsanitary conditions. Just last week a Bulk Barn and Subway restaurant, both reputable chains, we flagged on DineSafe for being unsafe for diners. Right now I’m having difficulty finding any publicized cases of poor inspection results in Ottawa—either our restaurants are unrealistically sanitary, or this information is disturbingly unavailable to the public.

Disturbing only because these things only get implemented after somebody has died from E. Coli or food poisoning.

…alright, that got really dark there for a second.