MONTREAL—About 200 restaurants are fined annually in Montreal for food safety violations, if you’ve ever wondered how clean your favourite restaurant is, consumer magazine Protegez Vous has released its latest list of offenders.

It was a quite a surprise to patrons heading into Buffet Maharaja on Rene-Levesque Blvd. Little did they know that the restaurant is on the list of the city's worst offenders when it comes to food safety.

“We were just planning to go in there to eat the buffet and now, I don't know? Should I go somewhere else?” asked one surprised customer.

In September, the buffet was ordered to pay more than $10,000 in fines for health and cleanliness violations. No one from the restaurant was available for comment.

Also on the city's list is La Belle Province on Dorval Ave. Last year, it was ordered to pay almost $7,000 in fines. The restaurant was cited for storing food at the wrong temperature.

Some regulars took it with a grain of salt.

“The place is clean and packed. I enjoy my Belle Province,” said one patron.

The Top 10 Offenders, with size of penalties (From Protegez Vous)                                                                                               

1. Eggspectation (Closed)

201 St-Jacques St.


2. Marche Kim Hour

7734 St-Michel Blvd.


3. Boulangerie Grand Maghreb

3567 Jean-Talon St.


4. Buffet Maharaja

1481 Rene-Levesque


5. Pushap Restaurant

4777 Sources Blvd.


6. Monkland Fruits

6131 Monkland Ave.


7. Super Marche BK

690 Jean-Talon St.


8. Cultures

7999 Galeries-d’Anjou


9. Wah Do Restaurant

4054 Ste-Catherine St.


10. La Belle Province

388 Dorval Ave.  


Others took a more pragmatic approach to the violations.

“When I’m spending 50 buck and upwards, I want to know about those places. When I'm spending six bucks I'm taking my chances.”

Josianne Mirreault is pregnant and unwilling to take any chances.

“I wanted to eat a hot dog but I won't go now. I'll go to Maxi, I've changed my mind,” said Mirreault.

There was no one at La Belle Province restaurant to comment, although staff told CTV Montreal that new owners have cleaned up the establishment.

The information is public and available on the city’s website, however it is currently dated and Quebec’s access to information laws block the public from seeing inspection results for one year.

 So who's to know what's clean and what's not right now?

The head of food inspection says Montrealers are safe.

“If the conditions are bad they close down the place right away,” said Christine Vezina, the manager of Montreal food inspections.

The minister of agriculture wants to make the system more transparent by providing more timely information, but has no concrete plans to do so just yet.

The full list of 50 worst offenders can be accessed here.