Food safety refers to the steps that we take to keep food safe and prevent foodborne illness. Foodborne illness is also known as food poisoning. It is important for the health of your customers to handle food properly so they do not get sick.
Handling food improperly or unsafely could adversely affect the health and well-being of your customers. Improperly handled food could cause a foodborne illness. As the owner or operator of a food premises, you are required to meet the requirements listed in the Food Premises Regulation (e-Laws Ontario).
Public health inspectors pay particular attention to ensuring that food is protected from possible contamination by chemicals or microorganisms and that adequate temperature controls are in place during the heating, cooling and storage of hazardous foods. The general sanitary and physical condition of the premises is also evaluated during each inspection.
Food premises are inspected based on the risk rating that the establishment has achieved. For example:
- High-risk food premises are inspected not less than once every 4 months.
- Moderate-risk food premises are inspected not less than once every 6 months.
- Low-risk premises are inspected not less than once every 12 months.
In addition to routine compliance inspections, inspections are also conducted as necessary to address:
- unsafe food handling practices
- issues of non-compliance with regulations
- foodborne illness investigations and outbreaks
- other inquiries that are deemed appropriate, to assess potential health hazards
- support to food recall notifications and in response to fires, floods, and emergencies related to food premises
All inspections and follow-up inspections for all food premises are posted on our Check Before You Go! website for a 24-month period. Convictions and orders are posted for 12 months.
Opening a food premises
Anyone wishing to prepare and sell food to the public must notify the Medical Officer of Health in writing (PDF, < 1 MB) prior to the operation of their business. The Starter Kit: A Guide to Opening and Operating a Food Premises (PDF, < 1 MB) provides a list of requirements that food premises must follow. A public health inspector is available to educate owners/operators on these items.
Public health inspectors address non-compliance with food safety regulations and take action where food may not be safe. Public Health Sudbury & Districts collaborate with other agencies where appropriate; will consider existing, repeat, and multiple infractions of regulations; and will pursue enforcement actions pursuant to the Health Protection and Promotion Act (e-laws Ontario).
Enforcement action can include the issuance of:
- offence notices (tickets)
Refer to Schedule 41 of the Provincial Offences Act for a list of set fines that can be applied if owners/operators or food handlers are in violation of the Food Premises Regulation.
Public health inspectors are available to provide general food safety information and consultations on the Food Premises Regulation. Education is also provided through Public Health’s Food Watch newsletter, which is periodically mailed to all food premises. Education is also provided at each inspection and through the food handler training and certification program.
This item was last modified on January 8, 2020