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Inspections

These web pages link to information about routine inspections carried out by Island Health.

Food Facilities

Food facility inspection reports

Environmental Health Officers carry out inspections for food facilities, including restaurants. Food inspection occurs at the federal, provincial and local levels.

Locally, food control initiatives are aimed at preventing food borne illnesses through safe food management. The monitoring process includes assessment, inspection, sample gathering and evaluation.

Food facilities that sell or serve food to the public are inspected routinely. These facilities include:

  • restaurants,
  • pubs and lounges,
  • hospitals and care facilities,
  • food and espresso carts,
  • coffee outlets,
  • delis,
  • bakeries,
  • butcher shops,
  • grocery stores,
  • and more, including temporary events where food is sold.

The purpose of the inspections is to ensure that food is being handled properly from receiving through preparation to serving.

Environmental Health Officers observe kitchen workers' food handling practices, and ensure that:

  • equipment is maintained in good operating condition and working properly,
  • adequate food temperatures are reached in preparation and storage of food,
  • proper cooling practices are followed, and
  • proper cleaning and sanitizing methods are followed.

Complaints

If you have a complaint about food handling at a facility or restaurant, please contact Health Protection & Environmental Services

Community Care Facilities

Residential and child care inspection reports

Licensing officers carry out routine inspections and deliver inspection reports to community care facilities. If a requirement is not met, a follow up inspection is done to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations. The inspection report provides the licensee with information regarding the regulatory requirements that are not met, and for these, states corrective actions and a corrective date to address outstanding concerns.

Information from routine inspection reports for Residential Community Care Facilities and Child Care Facilities are available online.  Residential facility inspection since October 1 2008, and Child Care facility inspections since March 1 2010 are posted.

Please be careful not to interpret the status of a particular facility based solely on an inspection report. You are encouraged to browse the history of a facility and do other research such as contacting the facility before arriving at any conclusions. This web site has been designed to convey similar information to the general public as they would receive through a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of B.C.

While every effort is made to keep the information up-to-date and make sure that it is accurate, Island Health is not responsible for discrepancies between information posted here and the actual inspection reports provided to the care facility and maintained in Island Health's Community Care Licensing offices.

For more information, please read the Frequently Asked Questions and contact the Licensing Office.

Drinking Water Facilities 

Drinking water system reports

All living organisms require water. Health and living conditions, biodiversity and population growth are all regulated by water. This makes water a very valuable resource with many competing interests. The focus of Island Health' Drinking Water Program is ensuring the safety of the water reaching the consumer for domestic purposes.

The team of Drinking Water Officers includes Medical Health Officers, Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Engineers, all working together to

  • Protect the water source
  • Require adequate treatment and disinfection methods as appropriate
  • Monitor regularly and systematically to identify problems
  • Initiate prompt action to remove threats to drinking water
  • Provide follow up to ensure that necessary improvements are completed
  • Communicate openly with the public about the quality of their drinking water

A drinking water system provides water for domestic purposes to anything other than a single family dwelling. A water system could be a restaurant with its own well, a campground, a rural subdivision or a large municipal system.

Water systems subject to the permitting provisions of the DWPA are inspected on a routine basis. The inspection frequency is based on risk factors such as water source, treatment methods, population served and system operation. The purpose is to ensure that the systems are operating in compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Act and Drinking Water Protection Regulation, and are providing safe water to consumers. A hazard rating is assigned to each water system, based on compliance with the most recent inspection and factors specific to the system including the use of a multi-barrier approach to reduce the risk of, or to prevent contamination of the system.

For more information regarding individual water systems, please contact Health Protection and Environmental Services.

Personal Service Establishments

Personal Service Establishment Inspection reports

Environmental Health Officers routinely inspect higher risk personal service establishments (those providing services which involve penetration of the client’s skin) to ensure compliance with the  Regulated Activities Regulation under the  Public Health Act and to determine whether industry standard practices are being adhered to with respect to general sanitation, disinfection, and infection control procedures.

To find out more about personal service establishments and view provincial guidelines visit the Ministry website . 

Island Health does not inspect or monitor those facilities where the practitioners or the services offered are monitored by a professional association or college, such as medical clinics, dental offices, registered massage therapy clinics and those services covered under legislation related to Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinics.

The Hazard Rating represents the relative level or degree of hazard associated with the establishment as determined by the EHO for a particular inspection. However, an EHO may alter the Rating depending on the seriousness of the noted condition(s), and may take into account the history of the facility in assigning the most appropriate hazard rating.


In general, the Hazard Rating describes the condition of a personal service establishment at the time of inspection as follows:

     

Low: The establishment was found to be in general compliance with the legislation and to be generally observing industry standard practices. No significant problems or presence of hazards were identified as appropriate sanitation, disinfection, and infection control procedures are employed.

     

Moderate: The establishment was found to be in general compliance with the legislation and to be observing industry standard practices. However, some issues related to general sanitation, disinfection, and infection control procedures were identified that require correction in order to protect the health of clients to the establishment.

     

High: Significant problems were noted relating to general sanitation, disinfection, and infection control procedures within the facility. The facility is not in compliance with the legislation, and clients receiving services at the establishment are at risk of injury or disease.

If a moderate or high hazard rating is assigned, Environmental Health Officers are taking steps to ensure that the risk to the public is addressed immediately and that long term improvements will be implemented to facilitate ongoing compliance with the legislation and industry expectations with regard to general sanitation, disinfection, and infection control procedures.

Recreational Water Facility

Recreational Water Facility Inspection Reports

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) inspect public and commercial pools, hot tubs, spray pools and wading pools (referred to collectively as ‘pools’) to assess compliance with the Public Health Act Pool Regulation. The regulation requires operators to maintain a safe and sanitary environment in and around the pool and throughout the surrounding facilities to protect public health and prevent injury. 

The Hazard Rating typically represents the relative level or degree of hazard associated with a pool, as determined by an EHO after conducting an inspection. An EHO may alter the Hazard Rating based on a poor compliance history or other risk factor associated with the pool or with the operator.  

In general, the Hazard Rating describes the condition of a pool at the time of inspection as follows:

Low:  No critical violations were found and there is a low probability of risk to pool patrons. The operator demonstrates an understanding of any identified or potential hazard as well as a willingness to comply fully with the legislation.

Moderate:  One or more critical violations or a combination of non-critical violations were observed that may put pool patrons at risk of injury or disease. The operator demonstrates an understanding of the identified hazards and shows a willingness to make any necessary improvements that will bring the facility into compliance.

High: The EHO observed critical violations, or a combination of critical and non-critical violations, which put pool patrons at significant risk of injury or disease. Further, the operator may not demonstrate an understanding of identified hazards, and there may or may not be a willingness to comply. The file may demonstrate a pattern of historical non-compliance, complaints or illness/injury investigations implicating the facility.

Whenever a moderate or high hazard rating is assigned, the EHO will direct the pool operator to control the associated risk to pool patrons in a timely manner.  If necessary, the EHO will close the pool until it can be used safely. Long term improvements must be implemented to facilitate ongoing compliance with the legislation and with industry expectations regarding safe pool water disinfection and treatment, injury prevention and sanitation practises.