By Ryan Tumilty | Metro News Canada
More than two years after Metro’s first reported on the story, health inspection reports for Edmonton’s many food trucks are still not available online and Alberta Health Services says it’s unable to say when that might change.
When Metro inquired about the safety issue last year, AHS said it was “likely” to add food truck inspections to its online database of restaurant inspections by 2016.
“A solution that will enable consistent posting of these reports across all zones (including Edmonton) is under review, and likely to be implemented in 2016,” said AHS Edmonton zone senior media advisor Kerry Williamson in March 2015.
But contacted Thursday, AHS can’t confirm a specific date, according to spokesperson Tahneen Luedee.
In an email, Luedee said work was underway to include the inspections as part of a new online database, but added they can’t provide a timeline, because there is a competitive bidding process underway for that new database.
She said the system AHS uses now dates from before food trucks were a popular part of the city’s food scene.
“The current system is coded to pull other inspection reports from the system, and post automatically to [the] website; however, given the current system’s coding reflects a time before food trucks were included, food truck inspection reports are not included,” she said.
She added since work is underway on a complete new system, it would not be fiscally prudent to spend money updating the old one.
Fire inspection situation improving
After Metro reported last summer that 30 per cent of trucks failed a fire inspection during an event last year, the city is taking a more proactive approach on fire inspections in 2016.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services deputy Chief Russell Croome said they held several meetings with operators earlier in the year to explain the rules.
“I believe that many of them left these meetings in March and went out and had their vehicles improved,” he said. “They were appreciative of us spending time with them.”
He said many of last year’s failings were for relatively minor issues, but now truck operators are getting all of the details worked out.
“They had some deficiencies if was a complete fail we wouldn’t have had allowed them to proceed.”
He said crews are required now to get their gas or propane systems checked by a third-party inspector and must show that to the city before getting their license as a vendor.