Canadians love The Cheesecake Factory for so many reasons. Whether it's for the restaurant chain's eclectic menu, enormous portions, the vast assortment of signature cheesecakes, or the elusively addictive sweet brown bread, Toronto residents foam at the mouth like rabid dogs for The Cheesecake Factory - and we aren't even a little bit sorry for it.
Concerningly, however, the Toronto foodie-favourite was almost denied a passing grade from Toronto Public Health. On March 1st, when The Cheesecake Factory at Yorkdale Shopping Centre was inspected by Toronto health and safety officers, the establishment was guilty of 4 food safety infractions.
The two "crucial" food safety violations included the restaurant's failure to protect food from contamination and adulteration and failure to ensure food handlers wash their hands as necessary to prevent food contamination.
The other two infractions, categorized as "significant", consisted of failure to maintain handwashing stations (including soap and paper towels), as well as the improper use of mechanical equipment (failure to maintain rinse water at 82°C).
Take a look at their inspection report:
Fortunately, the restaurant was re-inspected yesterday, on March 4th, and its health and safety status was shifted from a "conditional pass" to a full "pass", giving restaurant-goers the green light to dine safely and comfortably at Yorkdale's most popular establishment.
What may be the most troubling part of this story is that this isn't the first time that Yorkdale's Cheesecake Factory location has been in hot water for food safety violations. The restaurant nearly failed its second health inspection by Toronto Public Health back in February of 2018 for a whopping 7 different infractions.
That time, restaurant staff were found to be responsible for failing to ensure food is not contaminated, failing to use proper food safety procedures, failing to use proper utensils to ensure food safety, failing to use accurate thermometers to ensure food is kept at safe temperatures, failing to chill food to safe temperatures, failing to properly wash utensils, and once again, another employee handwashing infraction.
If that isn't enough to diminish your appetite, you likely have a stronger stomach than most when it comes to trusting food handlers. The good news is that The Cheesecake Factory seems to be actively adopting better food safety procedures, as indicated by their most recent health inspection.
But nonetheless, consumers should always remain aware of their favourite dining establishments' health and safety history by checking the DineSafe report distributed by Toronto Public Health every Monday.