Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hamilton Health Inspections?

Hamilton Health Inspections is a system created and maintained by Public Health Services to share the results of local public health inspections.

What types of inspection reports appear on the Hamilton Health Inspections website?

Public Health Inspection reports from the following inspected businesses are available on this website:

  • Food establishments: includes restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, banquet halls, catering kitchens, retirement homes, long-term care facilities, hospitals, mobile food vendors, and other businesses that offer food.
  • Personal services settings (also known as beauty and body art establishments): includes businesses that offer personal care services such as hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, ear and body piercing, electrolysis, manicures, pedicures, holistic services, and aesthetics.
  • Daycares: includes licensed daycare and child care centres, preschools, and before and after school programs.
  • Swimming Pools / Spas: includes public pools, spas, wading pools and splash pads.
  • Tanning Facilities: includes health clubs and spa salons.
  • Drinking water systems: includes water haulers and small drinking water systems.
  • Recreational camps: includes camps that provide overnight accommodations.

To access food related health inspection reports for pop-up, special events, or farmers’ market please call 905-546-CITY (2489).

What is the meaning of the inspection result?

Pass The term PASS means that the business establishment is following all applicable laws and health and safety regulations.

Conditional Pass – The term CONDITIONAL PASS means that the business establishment is not following all applicable laws and health and safety regulations. Items that pose a risk of illness must be corrected at the time of inspection.

Closed – The term CLOSED means that a public health inspector found a health risk/danger and closed the establishment or service until the risks are removed. The service or premises will be re-opened once the public health inspector has determined that the health risk has been removed.

What's the difference between a critical and non-critical infraction?

Critical infractions are violations that could lead to food-borne illness, infection, disease, injury or death. Most must be corrected at the time of inspection. Some examples are; not cooking food to the minimum temperature needed to kill harmful bacteria; Use of unsterilized needles in a tattoo parlour; Lack of chemicals in a swimming pool.  

Non-critical infractions are violations that are not likely to result in food-borne illness, infection, disease, injury or death. They do not represent an immediate risk to public health. Some examples are; a food handler not confining their hair while handling or preparing food; work area doesn't have adequate lighting; missing items from a first aid kit.

How often is the website updated?

New inspection results are added at least twice weekly. Once inspection results are posted they stay online for two years, unless there is a new owner. If there is a new owner inspection reports from the previous owner are removed.

Why can't I find the business I'm searching for?

First, check your search terms for correct spelling and that they match the name of the business. There are also several reasons a business might not be listed:

  • The business is new and it hasn’t been inspected it yet.
  • There's a new owner (inspections from previous owners are removed).
  • The business has changed its location and hasn't been inspected at the new location yet.
  • We're not yet aware of this business or that it is operating.
  • The business doesn't meet the criteria to be inspected by Public Health.
  • The establishment is a special event, farmers' market, or similar. To access these inspection reports please contact 905-546-CITY (2489).
  • To tell us about a new business or if you can't find a business you think should be listed, call 905-546-CITY (2489).

Is a business given advance notice of an inspection?

No, a business/establishment is not notified in advance of an inspection. The only exception is if a business/establishment does not have regular hours or is located in a private home, an inspection may be scheduled.

What should I do if I have a question or complaint about a business?

Please call 905 546-CITY (2489) or email publichealth@hamilton.ca