To keep the community healthy, Public Health inspects places that prepare, sell or distribute food to the public. Our inspections ensure that businesses comply with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17.
How often a premises is inspected depends on its level of risk. Risk is based on the types of food prepared and the people served.
- High-risk premises are inspected at least three times per year.
- Moderate-risk premises are inspected at least twice per year.
- Low-risk premises are inspected at least once per year.
We may conduct additional inspections to investigate complaints, suspected food-borne illnesses, and emergency situations like a fire, power outage and flood.
During food safety inspections, public health inspectors look for:
- Food temperatures
- Food preparation (cooking, storage, receiving)
- Employee hygiene (handwashing)
- Equipment and utensil sanitation
- Food sources
- Pest control
- Facility sanitation (floor, walls, garbage)
If we find an infraction, we notify the operator and may do a re-inspection. Depending on the circumstances, operators can be issued a Provincial Offence Notice (ticket) or an Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. An Order requires the operator to do or refrain from something. An Order may require closure of the premises.
Opening a business?
If you’re opening a food business (including a restaurant, cafeteria, grocery store, hotdog cart or catering vehicle) you must contact us first.
Follow these steps if you’re planning to open a food business:
- Contact your local municipality for information on zoning, construction, septic system and business license requirements.
- Talk with us before starting construction or renovation. Our Smart Start Package (PDF, 13 pages, 650 KB) outlines the steps you need to follow to obtain Public Health approval for your proposed food premises.
- Complete and submit the Notice of Intent to Operate a Food Premises Form (PDF, 1 page, 106 KB).