Frequently Asked Questions

We inspect facilities accessible to the public, and these are grouped into the following inspection areas:
  • Food Safety. These are inspections of restaurants, child care centres, retirement/long-term care homes, mobile food vendors, and other facilities that offer food to the public.
  • Infection Control – beauty and body art.  These are inspections of tattoo parlours, body piercing studios, nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, tanning salons, other facilities that offer esthetic services to the public, and retirement/long-term care homes.
  • Infection Control – day cares. These are inspections for proper infection prevention and control practices within child care centres.
  • Recreational Water. These are inspections of public pools, hot tubs, splash pads, water slides, and wading pools.
  • Drinking Water. These are inspections of small drinking water systems at clubs, businesses, campgrounds and other facilities that offer drinking water to the public.
  • Overnight Camps. These are inspections of overnight camps for things such as health hazards and sanitation.

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 and day cares are inspected at least annually. 

Indoor public pools and hot tubs 
are inspected once every three months. Outdoor public pools and spas are inspected twice annually. Splash pads, water slides, and wading pools are inspected at least annually. 

Small drinking water systems
are inspected once every two years if high risk and once every four years if moderate or low risk. Public health assigns a risk level based on a risk assessment of the previous inspection’s results.

In addition to required inspections, any facility may be re-inspected for compliance or inspected based on public complaints.

Public Health Inspectors assess a facility's compliance with relevant Ontario regulations. Regulations include the Food Premises Regulation, Personal Services Settings Regulation, Public Pools Regulation, and other regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act

You can learn more about what inspectors look for in Food Safety inspections by clicking on the Inspections tab of Restaurants and Food Services page 
on the Region of Waterloo Public Health website, or see a sample inspection report.
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.
Try entering less information in your search. For example, if you enter "pizza", you will not see any facility with "pizzeria". But entering "pizz" will return facilities with pizza or pizzeria in the name. 

Still can't find it? Call us at 519-575-4400 (TTY: 519-575-4608) or complete this form. Our office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
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 your complaint is health-related, complete this form or call us at 519-575-4400 (TTY: 519-575-4608). Our office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Note that we do not deal with complaints related to the quality of goods and services offered. For this type of complaint, please contact the facility directly.