The recent closure of Kings Buffet in St. Thomas for the better part of a week due to a cockroach infestation in the kitchen area re-opens debate on the merits of a colour-coded rating system for local food premises, similar to the program in place in London and other municipalities.
In fact Elgin St. Thomas Public Health does visit food premises to conduct routine inspections and re-inspections, according to a fact sheet on their web site here.
Food premises are any premise where food or milk is manufactured, processed, prepared, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported, sold or offered for sale.
According to the health unit, public inspectors do a risk assessment for every food premise in St. Thomas and Elgin county every year.
So, what are they looking for?
Editor’s note: Paul McKeever is the leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario and coincidently was the Freedom Party candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London in the 2011 provincial election.He forwarded this letter to City Scope and it is printed here in its entirety.
December 22, 2011
Sunmedia’s Queen’s Park columnist, Christina Blizzard, today wrote about Ontario’s health care system and the deficit. It concludes:
Liberals have socked us with the two biggest tax hikes in the history of the province — the health care levy and the HST. And now they’re crying poor? They created this mess. We’re just paying their bills.
We’ve badgered the administration at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital for some time now, so it’s interesting to note CEO Paul Collins will make a guest appearance Monday at city council with a presentation on redefining the hospital’s future.
In summary, the vision encompasses new adult mental health programs, a new emergency department that is double the size of the existing area, new surgical suites and centralized ambulatory care housed in Complex Continuing Care.
The redevelopment represents a $106 million investment in St. Thomas and Elgin.
It’s a business case that was presented to the ministry of health in July, 2009, where it has languished ever since. However, it is a project the hospital has advocated for many years and should there be a change in government come October, it could add a whole new dimension to wait times.