How safe’s your favourite place to get food in Toronto?

I wrote The Grid's cover story this week: everything you've ever wanted to know about where you get food in this city but were afraid to ask because what are you some kind of scaredy cat? (On newsstands today!) There's a lot of different stuff to go explore online:

  • For starters, there’s this interactive map of every single restaurant, grocery store, café, cafeteria, food processing plant, ice cream truck and so on and so on that’s been ordered closed by Toronto Public Health’s food safety program since January 4, 2001. See if you can find the one place in the city that’s received more “CLOSED” notices than the Green Room.
  • Then, there’s this by-the-numbers breakdown from eleven years of inspection data. Didja know that health inspectors have cited operators for 139 rodent infestations and 111 insect infestations? That sort of thing.
  • And if you were looking at the map, and wondering why Chinatown and Kensington Market have such a disproportionate number of closures, and what it takes for a place to actually get ordered closed, the head of the food-safety program, Jim Chan, has got all the answers.
  • I tagged along on an inspection of Chinatown staple Mother’s Dumplings, and online on Friday, we’ll be publishing the play-by-play. Don’t worry: it passed with flying colours. [UPDATE: …and here it is.]
  • Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, we’re releasing all the data we got from Toronto Public Health as the result of my end-of-year freedom of information request. The data contains the full results of every inspection that resulted in either a conditional pass—the bright yellow signs you’ll sometimes see in restaurant windows—or a closure notice. You can download that data at the foot of the map page, and make your own stuff with it.
  1. davidtopping posted this