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March 2, 2016

I just want to wash my hands

A month ago I wrote about food safety regulations.  I had written to the Minister of the Environment, asking why there are restaurants that do not comply with section 20 of the Food Safety Regulations:

Washroom facilities 
20 (1) A food establishment must have washroom facilities for staff and washroom facilities for the public available in a convenient location, unless exempted by the Administrator. 
     (2) A washroom facility must be constructed, equipped, and designed in accordance with the Nova Scotia Building Code. 
     (3) If an inspector gives written approval, the same washroom facilities may be used for both staff and the public. 
Since then I heard from the Minister:

I fully appreciate your concern but as you are probably aware, the construction/renovation of buildings that house foodservice establishments involve a number of jurisdictions and permit requirements. As indicated in your e-mail, our food safety staff apply the Food Safety Regulations that are designed to assist in the prevention of human illness through our foodservice sector. Other regulated areas associated with such facilities involve agencies responsible for our liquor laws, safe labor standards, fire safety standards, building/construction standards, etc. It is this latter focus area that would capture your concerns. Municipalities across Nova Scotia have building permit requirements and inspection services that apply the appropriate building code standards and municipal bylaws.

Help me out here.  My question was about 20 (1).  Her answer was about 20 (2).   She's just being obtuse and evasive.  I know she's not in charge of the building code, but she is in charge of public health relating to food safety.  

I call this the Flint Defense.  Lead in the tapwater?  Call the plumber!

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