Fraser Health has records dating back several years of health inspection reports for personal service facilities and restaurants across the Lower Mainland. The extensive database lists each inspection, hazard ratings and much more. (Adam Louis/The Observer)

Fraser Health: Clean bills across the board for Valley facilities

Large majority of facilites have great health inspection records, authority says.

How clean is your favourite pit stop in Agassiz or Harrison? According to the a vast majority of the most recent health inspections across the board, everything checks out quite nicely.

Fraser Health offers a comprehensive search database for restaurants and other facilities all across their service area in the Lower Mainland stretching back a number of years. In addition to restaurants, Fraser Health also inspects commercial kitchens, grocery stores and anywhere food is regularly handled.

According to their website, Fraser Health dispatches inspectors on a regular basis for routine checks as well as to investigate complaints received. The inspectors run through a list of requirements which factor in everything from employee hygiene to food temperature to overall sanitation. Following the inspection, the inspectors provide a report to facility management or owners to advise them of any areas that require improvement.

RELATED: How clean is your favourite local restaurant or café?

Despite the complexities of health inspections, routine or otherwise, it all breaks down into three categories – low, moderate and high-hazard. For the large majority of facilities in the area, low hazards are very common with a few moderate-hazard reports and even rarer, a high-hazard report.

According to Fraser Health, low-hazard ratings means everything meets sanitary and safety standards and all practices and equipment were adequate during the time of inspection. Moderate ratings mean the facilities were mostly in compliance, but there were a few issues that needed to be corrected promptly, be it food handling or operations. High-hazard ratings are the most severe, meaning the current environment and practices in place were in danger of spreading food-borne illnesses. High-hazard ratings require immediate action and, if not handled immediately, could result in a closure order.

READ ALSO: ‘Thick’ layer of rodent feces found in Vancouver kitchen linked to rat chowder video: inspection

While not perfect, a very high percentage of Agassiz-Harrison facilities have a long track record of low-hazard ratings.

Moderate-hazard reports can easily be corrected even at the time of inspection. For example, Sam’s Place Convenience Store in Agassiz had an inspection at the end of January where inspectors discovered some food that was not reading at the proper temperature due to a malfunctioning cooler, which was to be corrected by Feb. 3. The food – specifically proteins because the vegetables and condiments involved were still deemed safe to use – was discarded at the time of inspection per Fraser Health regulations. Though Sam’s is currently listed as a moderate hazard, it states in all capital letters on both issues that both critical hazards had been corrected during the time of inspection.

“Overall sanitation is satisfactory,” the report comments said.

The only reason the convenience store is as of press time still listed as moderate is because no follow-up inspection has yet been filed. Since their track record of low hazard rating stretches back to January 2012 with no other moderate or high ratings listed, it’s likely a follow-up inspection will have the same, low-hazard findings.

There has not been a single high-hazard rating in Agassiz since 2018.

Meanwhile, in Harrison Hot Springs no facilities are currently listed as moderate or high hazard. There hasn’t been a moderate hazard report since June 2019 and no high hazard ratings since November 2019.

In addition to food safety, Fraser Health also regularly inspects personal service facilities such as salons and tattoo shops. Agassiz and Harrison personal service facilities have never had a rating above low hazard according to all Fraser Health records listed online.

To learn more about health inspections and all that Fraser Health does, visit them online at fraserhealth.ca.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

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