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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.

Disclosure of Food Premise Inspection Results

As of July 1, 2018, it is mandatory for all food premises to post a hardcopy of their Star Rating Sign as assigned by their public health inspector at their most recent inspection. This star rating 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 Star Rating Sign in accordance with the inspectors request as required by Ontario Regulation 493/17 sec. 6. The Windsor- Essex County Health Unit will continue to have disclosure through the Safe Food Counts website.

Food Handler Certification

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

When can my Food Safety Stars Change

Your star sign will be changed at every compliance inspection. You can find more information on our Safe Food Counts program page.

How can I improve my food safety stars?

You can raise your number of stars by improving your food handling practices in accordance with the Food Premises Regulation. To help you understand the Regulations, you can take the Food Handler Course. You can also use the Self Inspection Checklist.

If I correct the infractions, can my food safety stars change?

No. Your food safety stars will not be changed until your next compliance inspection. How often your premise is inspected is determined by provincial food premises regulations and your Public Health Inspector.

If a re-inspection happens, will my star change?

No. Your food safety stars will only change at your next compliance inspection. We currently do not post re-inspection results online.

How many Food Safety Stars signs can I post?

You can only post your original star sign which was issued to you by the Public Health Inspector.

What if my star sign is destroyed or missing?

If your star sign is destroyed or missing, you must contact the Health Inspection Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.

Can I post the full inspection report on the door?

Yes, you can, but you are not required.

Am I allowed to advertise my Food Safety Stars?


Where else is the Safe Food Counts rating available?

Safe Food Counts rating and inspection results are posted on the Safe Food Counts website and are available by calling the Health Inspection Hotline 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 Safe Food Counts website or by contacting the Health Inspection Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.

What if I disagree with my star rating?

Owners and operators may file a complaint about their star rating. However, because the food safety stars are based on the findings of a certified Public Health Inspector, they’ll rarely be changed.

The complaint process is non-legal. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Health Inspection Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.

How does the Safe Food Counts program apply to fairs, festivals, and special events?

Although fairs, festivals, and other one-time events are inspected by our Public Health Inspectors, you will not receive a star sign or have inspection results posted on the website.

Does the Safe Food Counts program 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.

Premises that are exempt will not be part of the Safe Food Counts program.

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

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