Frequently Asked Questions

General Disclosure FAQ

The WECHU inspection disclosure site is an online system that allows the general public to easily find inspection reports from businesses or places inspected by the health unit. Before this website was launched, all food premise inspection reports were posted on the Safe Food Counts website.

Inspection reports on the new WECHU inspection disclosure site will be available for up to 2 years after the date of inspection. Reports are disclosed in accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards and Protocols.

We inspect facilities that are accessible to the general public. They are grouped into the following types:

  • Food Safety – restaurants, bakeries, butcher shops, banquet halls, mobile food vendors, cafeterias, grocery stores, institutions (child care, long-term care, schools), and service clubs.
  • Personal Services – inspected for infection control and includes businesses such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlours, body piercing studios, tanning salons, aesthetic clinics (hair removal, facials, and other body services).
  • Child Care – inspected for infection prevention and control practices
  • Safe Water – includes recreational water facilities like public pools and spas, spray/splash pads, and wading pools; as well as, Small Drinking Water Systems which provide non-municipal drinking water to the general public.
  • Campgrounds – overnight campgrounds are inspected for hazards and sanitation
  • Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Lapses
  • Enforcement activities – tobacco infractions and any other inspection orders and/or closures.

We have expanded our health inspection online disclosure system to include personal service settings, public pools and spas, child care centres, small drinking water systems, recreational camps, in addition to all food premises. The new disclosure website is replacing the Safe Food Counts website and program. The Safe Food Counts website will remain available until November 2020 for accessing inspection reports completed before November 2018.

There are several reasons you may not find a premises on our website:

  1. They are exempt from being inspected.*
  2. If it is a food premises, the last inspection report may be found on Safe Food Counts.
  3. They are listed by a different name, or recently changed names.
  4. They are no longer open.
  5. The inspection report does not need to be posted online.*
* If the premises you are referring to is a food premises, a personal services setting, a public pool or spa, a child care centre, or a drinking water premises, please call the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475 and we will follow up to determine if the facility is subject to inspections.

Please call the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475 to inform us of any errors.

If you have any questions or concerns about an inspection report or about the disclosure system, please call the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Food Premises Inspection FAQ

There are thousands of food premises that must be inspected in Windsor and Essex County. Every year, a Public Health Inspector must assess the risk level of a premises during an inspection. The risk level is based on the likelihood that a food-borne illness or outbreak could occur from the food served.

  • High-risk food premises are inspected at least 3 times per year (e.g. full service restaurant)
  • Moderate-risk food premises are inspected at least 2 times per year (e.g. fast food)
  • Low-risk food premises are inspected once per year, or more if required (e.g. convenience store).
Read this page for more detail on what happens during a food premises inspection.

  • If there is no hot water or drinkable water source
  • No power
  • Evidence of sewage back-up
  • If the premises is in very unsanitary condition
  • Evidence of insect and/or rodent infestation
  • Evidence of heat, smoke, or water damage
  • Evidence of a food-borne illness or outbreak
  • Other health hazards that may be observed

No. Compliance inspections are not scheduled with the owner/operator of the food premises. If a complaint is received, or there is a suspect food borne illness or recall, the Public Health Inspector may visit the food premises more often. Follow-up inspections can be scheduled for outstanding items that result from an inspection.

General Inspection FAQ

All other types of premises are inspected a minimum of once or more per year, depending on the type of facility it is, and types of services offered. Additional inspections may occur if there is a complaint received from a member of the public about the facility.

  • Child care centres are inspected ate least once per year
  • Personal service settings are inspected at least once per year
    • Read this page for more detail on the types of services that are inspected at personal service settings
  • Indoor public pools and spas are inspected four times per year. Outdoor public pools and spas are inspected at least twice per year or more, depending on their operating season. Public beaches are inspected weekly between June and September.
  • Recreational camps are inspected at least once per year, just before opening for the season
  • Small Drinking Water Systems are inspected every 2 to 4 years depending on level of risk
  • Any and all complaints are investigated by a Public Health Inspector

If you see something you think is a health concern, call the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475 or toll free 1-800-265-5822 to speak with a Public Health Inspector. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • What you saw or experienced at a premises with approximate dates and times,
  • The name and location of the premises you are calling about,
  • Your name and contact information so we can follow-up with you for more details if needed.

Note: Your name and contact information is never provided to the food premises. Complaints can be made anonymously if requested, however, if no contact information is provided, we will be unable to collect more information if needed to fully address the complaint.