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Operators of Food Businesses

What Types of Food Businesses Are Inspected by the Health Unit?

Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act a “food premises” means a premises where food or milk is manufactured, processed, prepared, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported, sold or offered for sale, but does not include a room actually used as a dwelling in a private residence. Anyone intending to operate a food premises must notify the health unit in which they wish to operate.

Food businesses include restaurants, food retail stores, bakeries, caterers, food processors, mobile food trucks, special event food vendors, and farmers’ markets.

What Do I Need to Know About Opening a Food Business?

It is important to do your research before you decide to operate a food business. Public Health Inspectors are available to help guide you through the process which may help prevent delays in opening or extra costs. The following resources have been developed to help assist owners, operators and their staff to meet regulatory requirements and operate a food business that provides safe food.

Regulatory Requirements

In Ontario, Food Premises must meet the minimum requirements set out in Ontario Regulation 493/17 Food Premises, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. A companion reference document “Food Premises Reference Document 2019” is a supportive document that provides the generally accepted scientific evidence-based practices for safe food handling. The Health Unit advises operators of food premises to be familiar with these documents in order to ensure safe food handling practices are in place and to be in compliance with the regulation. The Ontario Court of Justice schedule of set fines is provided so that you are aware of the fines that may be issued for non-compliance.

Food Handler Training

For Food Handler Training options visit our Food Handler Training Course page.

Food Preparation and Processing Information

Understanding the steps that ensure the food you produce is safe is an important part of running your food business. Here are some helpful resources.

Where Can I Find Information About Food Processing, Preserving and Labelling?

For more information please refer to the following information:

How Do I Keep My Food Safe During Emergencies?

Emergency Resources for Food Premises Operators

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