Food premises

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:

In addition to routine compliance inspections, inspections are also conducted as necessary to address:

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.

Pest Control Requirements

All food premise operators are required to maintain records of pest control measures undertaken within their facilities. These records are to be retained for at least 1 year. To assist operators with this requirement, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has developed a Pest Surveillance Checklist for Food Premises (PDF, < 1 MB). Although operators are not required to use this checklist, pest control records must be maintained, kept on-site, and readily available to a public health inspector upon request.

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.

Mobile Food Premises

The requirements of the Ontario Food Premises Regulation are also applicable to mobile food premises. As such, those intending to operate a mobile food premises must notify the Medical Officer of Health (PDF, < 1 MB) prior to the operation of their business. Seasonal mobile food premises also require an opening inspection prior to each operating season. Operators may refer to our Mobile Food Premises Checklist (PDF, < 1 MB)  when preparing their mobile unit(s) for inspection. Once the items on the checklist have been addressed and your mobile food premises is ready for inspection, contact a public health inspector at 705.522.9200 ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).


Public health inspectors address non-compliance with food safety regulations and take action where food may not be safe. Public Health Sudbury & Districts collaborates 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:

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 16, 2024