Food Safety

cutting board, hands cutting cucumber

Contact(s)

Food Poisoning

Thousands of people get food poisoning each year. Many people do not report food poisoning because they believe they have the "flu". If you think that you have food poisoning, please call 705-474-1400 ext. 5229 to report it.

Food Inspection Results and Complaints

Results of food inspection reports are available to the public on our Inspections and Enforcement page or by request via email: environmental.health@healthunit.ca or by calling 705-474-1400 ext. 5400 or 1-800-563-2808.

Highlights of Changes to Ontario’s Food Premises Regulation

Effective July 1, 2018 the Food Premises Regulation R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 562 was revoked and replaced with the Food Premises Regulation O. Reg. 493/17. This summary document has been prepared to raise awareness about the changes and assist with implementation of the new requirements.

The new regulation follows many other provinces and territories who have adopted outcome-based regulations and have removed many prescriptive requirements. Outcome-based regulations focus on the intended end result of food protection and food safety practices.

 Key changes

 

Posting requirements of inspection results

Many public health units have existing public disclosure programs, some of them require on-site posting to raise awareness of the availability of inspection results to the public. Under the new regulation food premise operators will be required to post the results of inspections conducted by a public health inspector in accordance with the inspector’s request.  Currently a summary of inspection results is maintained on the Health Unit website.

Food handler training

The new regulation requires every operator of a food premises to ensure that there is at least one food handler or supervisor on the premise who has completed food handler training during every hour of operation. Completed training, under The Operational Approaches to Food Safety Guidelines (2018), requires a 70% pass on food safety training examination and issuance of a food handler certificate that expires after 5 years. Currently in Ontario, more than 64% of food premises meet this requirement as a result of existing local by-laws and the promotion of training by the public health inspector.

Remove prescriptive requirements throughout the regulation by replacing them with outcome-based requirements in areas including:

  • Protection of food from contamination and adulteration
  • Maintenance of rooms and sanitary facilities
  • Sanitary garbage management and
  • Requirements relating to convenient hand washing stations for food handlers

Amend requirements related to temperature control, food handling, and records:

  • Allow potentially hazardous food items to be in the temperature danger zone for no more than two hours during periods of time necessary for the preparation, processing and manufacturing of the food.
  • Specifying 2 hours as the maximum time allowable that potentially hazardous food can be out of temperature control.
  • Adding specific requirements to ensure adequate equipment is available for the refrigeration or hot-holding of potentially hazardous food.
  • Requiring that previously served food must not be re-served unless it had previously been served in a container or package that protects the food from contamination and is not a potentially hazardous food.
  • Prescriptive internal cooking temperatures for specific food items has been replaced with an emphasis on utilizing safe food handling and processing procedures, including temperature control, to ensure food is safe to eat.
  • Requiring operators to retain records of food purchases for at least until the first anniversary of the purchase date.  The purpose of this requirement is to promote accountability, ensure purchase from safe sources and improve traceability of products.  All food items are required to be subject to inspection by the Government of Canada or Ontario, or by any agency of either, that food is purchased from a source that is inspected.  In the event of a food recall or outbreak, operators may be required to provide records or receipts of food purchased to facilitate the investigation. 
  • Requirement to develop and follow written food safety procedures for manufactured meat products that are customarily eaten without further cooking and obtain approval for these procedures by the medical officer of health or public health inspector.

Amend requirements related to pest control, cleaning and sanitizing, and equipment

  • Removal of double strength sanitizer concentration requirement when sanitizing large equipment that cannot be washed in a sink or mechanical dishwasher.
  • Supporting innovation by recognizing NSF standard for mechanical equipment and expanding the use of sanitizing agents permitted in a food premises.
  • Includes explicit requirement for pest control measures that requires that the premise is protected against the entry of pests, free of conditions that lead to harboring or breeding of pests and records for any pest control measures taken are retained.

While this is a brief review of highlights in the new Food Premises Regulation O. Reg. 493/17, the requirements are intended to move Ontario toward increased transparency, consistency, and strengthen food safety practices based on outcomes that will protect the public.

Contact

It is recommended to work with your public health inspector to learn more about the requirements and how to maintain compliance with the Food Premises Regulation.

Please contact us at 705-474-1400 ext. 5400 or environmental.health@healthunit.ca if you have any questions regarding the changes

 

Community Events and Farmers Markets

For food service applications including International Plowing Match food vendor applications please visit our community events and farmers market page

Food Handler Training and Certification

For information on course outlines, schedules, locations and cost visit our food handler certification training page

More information on proper food handling practices

Fight Bac! Partnership for Food Safety Education

Canned Foods

Food and Water Safety in Power Outages (La Salubrité des Aliments et de L’eau En Cas de Panne D’électricité)

Get the Safe Food Facts (Hygiene Alimentaire: renseignez-vous)

Eat Safely During Your Pregnancy (Manger en toute sécurité pendant votre grossesse)

How to be Food Safe Video

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808