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The first goal of any food premises must be to produce the safest food possible. Food premises includes any place where you buy food such as restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, or food vendors at a festival.  The Food Handler Course helps you improve your skills in preparing safe foods. The course will also help you to understand the Ontario Ministry of Health Food Safety Standards.

Who should take the Food Handler Course?

The Food Handler Course is for:

  • Food handlers (for example: chefs, prep cooks, butchers, and bakers)
  • Supervisors
  • Managers

Course Information

The Food Handler Course is offered either as a full day in-class instructor led course or an online computer course. The online course must be completed within 30 days of registration. 

All exams must be written in person and a grade of 70% or higher must be achieved to receive your certificate. If you’re an individual who requires assistance with the exam, we will accommodate you. All exams must be registered separately from the classes.

If your certificate is no longer valid, you have the option of taking our two-hour in-class re-certification course followed by an exam. You may write the exam without taking the course if you have knowledge and experience in the food industry or have been previously certified.

Once you pass the exam, you’ll receive:

  • Food handler Certificate (valid for five years within Ontario)
  • Wallet size Food Handler Certificate

Register for your in-class Food Handler Course as soon as possible to get your first choice of date and location. Class size is limited to 25 students.


Windsor Location

Essex Location

Leamington Location

Online Courses

To register for the online course, visit our e-learning server.

Make sure you register for both your class and your exam. Exams are not included in the price of the in-class or online courses.

Course Pricing

Course Description Price (including HST and fees)
In-Class Course $41.65*
Online Course $28.25*
Re-Certification Course $18.50*
In-Class or Challenge Exam $12.70
Food Safety Binder (for self-study) $16.95
*Exams are not included in the price of the in-class or online courses

Payment Options

You can pay via PayPal, credit card, or in cash at the door for the in-class course.

You can pay via PayPal or credit card for the online course.

In-Class Course Locations

Windsor Classes

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
1005 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, Ontario

Essex County Classes

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
360 Fairview Avenue West
Essex, Ontario

Leamington Classes

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
33 Princess Street
Leamington, Ontario

​The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also has a list of acceptable providers you may wish to take the course from. 

What does the course cover?

The course will provide you with an understanding of the following areas:

  • Role of Public Health Inspectors and Public Health Legislation
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Food Microbiology and Allergies
  • Temperature Control
  • Safe food handling and storage
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Pest Control
  • Introduction to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)

Why should food premises hire certified food handlers?

  • Certified food handlers are trained in handling foods safely.
  • Certified food handlers help to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Unsafe food handling practices can result in:

  • Poor reputation
  • Legal fees
  • Higher insurance costs

What are the requirements for the online course?

To view the requirements for the online course please go to our e-learning server. If you are using a company computer, check with your system administrator if you have any questions.

How do I get a certificate when I take the online course?

The online course is designed to prepare you for the Food Handler Certification exam, which takes place at our Health Unit. Once you have completed the course and are ready to schedule your exam, contact us at 519-258-2146 ext. 1450 or 1474. You will receive your certificate after passing the exam.