Re-inspections lagging on Regina restaurants
In at least 20 cases in recent months, health inspectors in Regina failed to follow up on restaurant problems in a timely way, CBC News has learned.
In December, for example, inspectors with the Regina-Qu'Appelle Health Region raised some concerns about Nicky's Cafe in Regina, including problems with refrigeration, preparation of food and food protection.
The findings were serious enough to require a rating of "high priority" to reinspect the 8th Avenue restaurant.
High priority means inspectors should have been back within a month for another look, but almost six months later, they hadn't returned.
There was a similar situation at The Comfort Inn's continental breakfast.
It was rated a high re-inspection priority over refrigeration, food storage or preparation and hand-washing problems. But since January, there have been no re-inspections.
"Unfortunately that's something that we missed and we should have been on top of," said supervisor Robert Schuba of the health region.
The problem, Schuba said, has been a software glitch.
"We haven't been able to get the information that we would like to out of our provincial software system," he said.
However, in about two hours, a CBC reporter used the health ministry's restaurant inspection website to find 20 restaurants that should have been re-inspected
It's the same computer glitch CBC pointed out a year ago when the website was launched.
At that time, officials said the problem accessing information was easy to fix and would be repaired shortly.
The problem is being resolved and shouldn't happen again, Schuba said earlier this month.
As a result of the CBC investigation, Schuba met with his staff to ensure that the 20 restaurants that were pointed out to him will be inspected within two weeks.
Meanwhile, an official with the Saskatchewan Health Ministry said it will be talking with other health regions in light of the problems highlighted by CBC.
Tim Macaulay, the ministry's director of environmental health, said overall he thinks restaurant inspectors are doing a good job, but further inquiry is warranted.
"Certainly, we'll be revisiting the matter with the regions," he said.
Macaulay said he doesn't know how many re-inspections are being missed in Saskatchewan.