Montreal Restaurant Inspections Lag Behind Other Cities, says Gazette

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MONTREAL — A story in the Montreal Gazette, raises concern the city’s restaurant inspections aren’t up to date, when compared to health and safety checks posted in other Canadian cities.

Citing Montreal’s poor open data stream, the newspaper asserts Montrealers aren’t getting all the details and only see which restaurants have been fined.

In other words, only a partial picture of the city’s restaurant infractions is available to consumers.

“We can’t tell if a restaurant that was fined cleaned up its act. We also don’t see how many times a restaurant failed in proportion to all inspections,” the Gazette story suggests.

Additionally, the paper believes reports on the city of Montreal website are stale. The blog by Roberto Rocha says reports are from October 2011, despite city spokespeople saying reports  are supposed to refresh on a monthly basis. “Even so”, the paper reads, “diners are getting information that is several months late.”

In fairness, the Gazette story says it’s wrong to blame the city, since it’s The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which governs restaurant inspections.

The open data movement is a development seen in many cities across Canada allowing the public to access unfiltered access to information collected.

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