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Montreal Restaurants Will Be Required to Put Health Inspection Results in Their Windows A motion for the change easily passed at City Hall

Montreal restaurants will likely be required to publicly display the results of their health inspections, after a new motion sailed through city council this week.

Precise details are still to be figured out, but it looks like Montreal will likely adopt a grading system for health inspections, where restaurants may be awarded an A, B, or C for hygiene and cleanliness; they would then be required to display this grade prominently for customers. Such a system is used in New York City and Los Angeles, while Toronto takes a very similar approach with colours instead of letter grades.

The idea only surfaced a little over a week ago, when the City Hall opposition Ensemble Montreal put a motion together — that party said that at present, it’s too difficult for Montrealers to find out if restaurants have good or bad records with health inspectors. Under the current system, results from restaurant and grocery store inspections are posted online, but finding them can require a lengthy search through city or provincial databases.

While the opposition put the motion forward, it was unanimously approved, according to the Gazette. Because health inspections are partially the responsibility of the province, the motion directs the city of Montreal to ask the provincial department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) to allow for health inspection results to be made more public. When everything is in place, the end result should resemble cities like New York or Toronto.

These kinds of grading systems are generally popular among consumers, although restaurateurs in other cities have sometimes expressed concerns about such systems being overly simplified — for example, that an “A” or “B” grade does not accurately convey the nuts and bolts of a health inspector’s visit.

The city is also planning to make such information publicly available on its website and app.