The deciding factor of where people eat in Ottawa may soon not come from the menu, but a restaurants front window.

Ottawa Public Health is looking to serve up food inspection signs similar to those in cities like Toronto, Hamilton and New York.

“We're currently looking at different systems that could make the inspection results more visible on site,” says Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Deputy Medical Officer of Health.

Currently, Ottawa Public Health has a searchable website that will pull up a restaurant’s food inspection records. While it’s one of the city’s most popular online resources, Etches says the public wants results to be even more accessible.

In New York, restaurants are given a letter grade after sanitary inspections.

In Toronto, all restaurants have a green, yellow or red sign on their storefronts. Green indicates a pass, yellow a conditional pass and red a fail resulting in closure.

Councillor Diane Holmes is the Chair of Ottawa’s Board of Health and says Toronto’s system doesn’t supply enough information and requires a lot of manpower to constantly change signs.

“It appears not to be as effective as everyone thinks it is,” says Holmes. “So the department is looking at what other system we can bring forward that would be more effective.”

Restaurants like the Bacon Factory embrace the idea.

“If I pass my health inspection with flying colours, I'd like the public to know that,” says Nicole Boily-Zayadi, General Manager at the Bacon Factory.

“If I miss something and there is a little negative on my inspection, I want them to know that I've addressed it,” she adds.

Ottawa Public Health says it plans on holding public consultations later in the fall. The Public, business owners and special interest groups are encouraged to participate.

The health agency does add that the public consultation process won’t be about whether restaurants should have signs up, but what kind of rating system and information they should provide.

With a report from CTV’s John Hua