By: Lotoya Davids and Leigha Vegh
Steve’s, a 70-year-old family-run restaurant on Bathurst St. just north of the 401 has been operating for over a week after being fined by DineSafe Toronto for failing to properly clean room surfaces.
They received several infractions during their most recent inspection on July 24, including failure to ensure food is not contaminated and inadequate pest control measures which warrants a conditional pass from DineSafe Toronto.
Marisa Adams had breakfast at Steve’s with her four-year-old son for the first time on Wednesday morning, although her family has gone many times. She wasn’t aware of the conditional pass in the window.
“If I would have known I probably wouldn’t have gone in,” Adams said.
Not entirely convinced that she would avoid the restaurant completely even if she had been aware of the infractions, her mind changed when she found out the reasons for the conditional pass.
“Gross”, she said.
Humber News has reached out to Steve’s for comment.
If a restaurant fails to rectify their infractions under a conditional pass then Toronto Public Health will issue a summons to court where they could be fined or shut down.
Just down the street, a Wakame Sushi location has been temporarily closed after outstanding crucial infractions for “gross unsanitary conditions” and failure to guarantee uncontaminated food.
Under the red DineSafe Toronto sign, which indicates that an establishment has been closed for failing to correct unsafe practices, is a personal message from the restaurant’s management.
“To serve you better, we will closed (sic) for whole kitchen renovation. We will reopen soon! We are apologize (sic) for any inconvenience,” the sign reads.
It makes no mention of the infractions.
A patron of the establishment, Keith Sutherland, had his own set of concerns far from restaurant food safety practices.
“I’ve been here maybe six times and it seemed to be fine overall,” he said, adding that he’s more concerned about the internal damage the parasites in sushi can cause.
While he’s aware of DineSafe Toronto signs in establishment windows, it’s not a big concern for him.
“I’m not that really conscious of it because for me it’s a fairly new thing overall,” he said.
According to Sutherland, a conditional pass at an establishment would not deter him from eating there.
“I would give them an opportunity to see if they could clean their act up and make it better for other people”, he said.
Wakame Sushi’s closure follows a full pass they received during an inspection four months prior. The manager of neighboring restaurant Bagel Plus who refused to be named for considering the owners of Wakame Sushi to be like family, says the situation is unfortunate.
DineSafe Toronto will shut an establishment down temporarily or permanently if there is a failure to correct infractions of a previous inspection.
Establishments are required by law to have a visible sign showing the results.
Guidelines on how to pass an inspection can be found on the DineSafe Toronto website.
DineSafe Toronto lists 38 businesses in the GTA currently operating with a conditional pass.