Frequently Asked Questions

Inspection reports on this site include:

  • Food businesses – such as restaurants, retirement homes/long-term care facilities, mobile food vendors, and other businesses that offer food
  • Beauty & body art businesses – such as tattoo parlours, body piercing studios, nail salons, hair salons, barber shops and other businesses that offer aesthetic services
  • Recreational water facilities - such as public pools, spas/whirlpools (hot tubs), spray/splash pads, water slides and wading pools. These are referred to as public pools and hot tubs on this website.
For food businesses the number of inspections per year is determined by the risk level that is assigned to the business. Risk levels depend on a number of factors that may increase the potential for foodborne illness.

  • High Risk food businesses are inspected once every four months (e.g. full service restaurant)
  • Medium Risk food businesses are inspected once every six months (e.g. donut shop)
  • Low Risk food businesses are inspected once per year (e.g. convenience store)

Beauty & body art businesses are inspected at least annually in accordance with the Infection Prevention and Control in Personal Services Settings Protocol. In addition to routine inspections, businesses may be inspected based on public complaints.

Indoor public pools and hot tubs are inspected one every three months. Outdoor public pools and spas are inspected twice annually. Spray/splash pads, water slides and wading pools are inspected at least annually. 

In general, Public Health Inspectors are assessing a facility's compliance with the government laws relevant to the type of business they are inspecting. For food businesses this legislation includes the Food Premises Regulation of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Beauty & body art business requirements are set out in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings Personal Service Setting Establishments. The Ontario Regulations for Public Pools and Public Spas guide inspections of recreational water facilities. 
No. The majority of inspections are not scheduled in advance and are typically conducted without prior warning.
After an inspection, the business operator must correct infractions by a defined date, which may be immediately. A public health inspector may follow up with a second inspection, known as a re-inspection, depending on the severity of the infraction(s). Infractions that do not pose an immediate health risk to the public may be followed up at the next routine inspection. However, it is the expectation of Public Health that infractions be corrected prior to the re-inspection. If the operator demonstrates repeated non-compliance with government legislation, legal action can be taken such as tickets, summons, or orders. Closure orders are issued when health hazard condition(s) are observed by the Public Health Inspector that cannot be immediately corrected.
Every effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is updated daily. However, our commitment is to have the information posted within five business days. Once inspection reports are posted they will be available on-line for two years.
Region of Waterloo Public Health does not use a colour-based or graded inspection system. This website is being offered as a convenient way for the public to access public health inspection results which are also available by calling or visiting Public Health. The promotional signs have a QR code for smart phones so the public can access inspection results while on site at the business. The posting of promotional signs is voluntary.
The Check it! We inspect it. sign directs people to the website so that they can look up the latest health inspection results for that business.
Region of Waterloo Public Health encourages all businesses to post the promotional sign in their front window or door. Inspection reports will be available on the website even if a promotional sign is not posted at a business. Check it! We inspect it. promotional signs are made available to all food and beauty & body art businesses as well as public pools and spas. A business may not have a sign posted because they have not yet received a sign or because they chose not to post a sign.
No. You will see a summary of the inspection report, including items that are not in compliance or items that were corrected during routine or re-inspections. The information from the inspection report that is available on the website includes:
  • The name, location and phone number for the business
  • Type of inspection (i.e. routine inspection or re-inspection)
  • Inspection results (i.e. critical and non-critical infractions)
  • A two-year history of inspection results for each business, if available
  • Enforcement actions taken (i.e. ticket, summons, or closure)
A copy of the inspection report used by Public Health Inspectors when completing a routine inspection can be found by clicking click here.
If you are searching for a facility (or business), double check your search criteria. It’s best to start by entering less information, then, refine your search by providing more specific information. For example, if you enter “pizza”, then any facility with “pizzeria” would not be returned in your search. But entering only the first four letters, “pizz” will return businesses with both pizza and pizzeria in the name. Please note that the “search facilities” field can accept search terms from the name, address or facility type. Therefore, if you search for “King Dragon”, the search will return what you’re looking for, plus all facilities located on King Street, because it picks up everything with King or Dragon in the name, address or facility type. If you are unable to find what you're looking for, there are a few reasons a facility might not be listed:
  • The business is new and a public health inspector has not conducted an inspection yet
  • Public Health is not yet aware of this business or that it is operating
  • The business does not meet the criteria for a Public Health-inspected facility
Please call us at 519-575-4400 to notify us of a new business or if you cannot find a business that you think should be on the Check it! We inspect Public Health recommends choosing food or beauty & body art businesses or pools and hot tubs that are inspected. This website should help you to identify which businesses are inspected by Public Health.
Possible reasons why no inspection information is available on this website:
  • The business is new and a public health inspector has not conducted an inspection yet
  • The business has not received a routine inspection in the past two years
We have expanded our health inspection reporting website to include beauty & body art businesses and public pools and hot tubs. The new name Check it! We inspect it. is replacing Commitment to Food Safety to reflect the addition of more health inspection report types and facilities.
If you have a public health question or complaint about a food or beauty & body art business or pool or hot tub, you can call us at 519-575-4400. Request to speak to a public health inspector; if one is not available, we will get back to you within one business day. You can also make a complaint through the Check it! We inspect it. website by clicking on “file a complaint” when you are viewing the business in question.