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Food Service Operators

Food service

On January 1, 2020, amendments to Ontario Regulation 493/17 (Food Premises) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act came into effect. The amendments align with the government's commitment to reduce burden and increase flexibility for small businesses.

The final amendments can be accessed here.

A summary of the changes are as follows:

1.  Dogs are now permitted in the following areas of food premises:

  • Outdoor eating areas (patios): if no food is prepared in the eating area.
  • Indoor eating areas: only where low risk or prepackaged food is sold, offered for sale, displayed, and no food preparation occurs in the eating area.

Best practices for permitting dogs at food premises:

  • Operators have the discretion to permit dogs on their food premises.
  • Recommend to post on-site signage indicating premises is dog friendly.
  • Patrons should ensure necessary supplies to clean up after dogs.
  • Dogs are required to be on a leash and controlled by their handler.
  • Always wash hands after handling dog.
  • All dog bites and scratches must be reported to the local public health unit. If there is a bite or a scratch, clean the affected area immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention.

2.  Food premises that prepare low risk and serve only low risk and/or prepackaged food items are now exempt from:

  • Clause 7(3)(c) - Hand wash stations
  • Section 18 - Dishwashing equipment
  • Section 32 - Food handler training

Best practices for premises with regulatory exemptions:

  • Handwashing is required prior to handling food. Handwashing can be done at any available sink provided it is supplied with liquid soap and paper towel or air dryer.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing dishes and utensils after each use is required by using a domestic dishwasher, two-sink or three sink method. If the proper number of sinks is not available, substituting the last sink may be an option. speak with a public health inspector to discuss your options.
  • It is recommended that an internal food safety training program be implemented so that all staff and volunteers are provided with food safety knowledge.

Low risk foods - Food that is not capable of supporting the growth of infectious or toxigenic organisms. Low risk foods do not require specific time and temperature control.

For more information on the above, please call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 ext. 8811.

To help assist with reducing foodborne illness, promote compliance and best practices, the following document was created. Click here for more details.

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