are to be made available for public review in accordance with Freedom of Information criteria.
Annex 7 of the Food Code provides an inspection form that may be completed for routine, follow-up, and compliance inspections. This inspection form meets requirements established in Standards 3 and 6 of the Program Standards.
If a violation exists during an inspection, it should always be marked on the inspection report, even if corrected on site. Violations existing at the time of the inspection probably would have persisted if it were not for the inspection. Slight violations, such as one dirty utensil among hundreds of clean utensils, does not indicate that the food establishment is significantly deviating from the Code requirements; therefore, discretion in marking is required.
It is very important to investigate the root causes of violations and mark them appropriately. Without taking this extra step, inspectors will merely point out violations and will not identify weaknesses in the management system in place. If long-term control of the behaviors or practices leading to the violations is expected, inspectors must identify the causes.
Regulatory agencies may use scoring methods to rate food establishments. Depending on the system used, establishment scoring may provide an indication of how well a food establishment is complying with the food safety rules of the regulatory agency.
Some agencies use a system of compliance tools as provided in Chapter 8 and Annex 1 of the Food Code to protect public health. The inspection score may serve as the basis for triggering follow-up inspections or other forms of regulatory sanctions when they fall too far from the accepted levels. In addition, scoring may provide a mechanism for consumers to make informed choices regarding where they want to eat.
Use of scoring systems also has negative consequences. For example, it is possible for a food establishment to receive a high numerical or letter score while exhibiting some very serious deficiencies. In recognition of this drawback, some jurisdictions forego scoring systems in favor of demerits or debit systems without assigning a final score. This focuses attention on the items needing correction. Compliance and enforcement decisions can still be based on the increasing levels of identified deficiencies. Whatever method or system of establishment rating is used, policies regarding follow-up and enforcement actions should be established in writing, linked to the rating system, and administered consistently.
Annex 5 – Conducting Risk-based Inspections 541