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What do I need to know about changes to the new Food Premise Regulation O. Reg 493/17?

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has recently made changes to the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), and amendments to Ontario Regulation 493/17: Food Premises. It is now a requirement for there to be a minimum of 1 certified food handler in every food service premises during each hour of operation. A food service premises is defined as “any food premise where meals or meal portions are prepared for immediate consumption or sold or served in a form that will permit immediate consumption on the premises or elsewhere” (Section 1(1)). These premises include community centres, schools, churches and special events.

Disclosure of Food Premise Inspection Results

As of July 1, 2018, it is mandatory for all food premises to post the sign provided by their public health inspector indicating that they have been inspected.   The sign must be posted in a prominent area in clear view to the public.

Previously, disclosure of inspection results was enforced by the municipality through a by-law (if applicable). Beginning on July 1st, 2018 all food premises in all municipalities must post the inspection sign in accordance with the inspectors request as required by Ontario Regulation 493/17 sec. 6. The Windsor- Essex County Health Unit will disclose these inspection results online for the general public to access.

Food Handler Certification

As of July 1, 2018, every operator of a food service premises shall ensure that there is at least one food handler or supervisor on the premises who has completed food handler training during every hour in which the premises is operating.

The health unit provides food handler training certification through an on-line course, or through in-person classes that are offered on a regular basis at our Windsor, Essex and Leamington offices. For course dates and prices, visit the food handler course information page.

With both of the above changes now written into the new Food Premises regulation, enforcement will be the responsibility of Public Health Inspectors from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

What if my inspection sign is destroyed or missing?

If your inspection sign is destroyed or missing, you must contact the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.

Can I post the full inspection report on the door?

Yes, you can, but you are not required.

Where else are my inspection results available?

Inspection results are posted on the health unit's online disclosure system or available by calling the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.

Will the public be able to see all infractions on the web?

Yes, the infractions will be available on the disclosure website or by contacting the Environmental Health Department at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.

Does the food premises inspection process apply to churches, bed and breakfasts?

Under provincial Food Premises Regulation, churches and other places owned, operated, or leased by religious organizations, service clubs, and fraternal organizations may be exempt. Bed and breakfast places are exempt from the Regulation unless they have ten guests or more.

Find out more on our Food Safety Regulations for Churches and Other Places of Worship page.

Premises that are exempt will not be part of the online disclosure system.

If you have any questions about this, the Environmental Health Department can provide help and education to your facility.

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