October 24,

Food Handler Course

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Food Handler Course

Course Information

Foodborne illness, more commonly known as food poisoning, is a risk to the public and can seriously damage the reputation of your establishment. Whether it is by word-of-mouth from one upset customer or an outbreak involving many people, foodborne illness can ruin your business. The best way to prevent foodborne illness is through education. The Food Handler Training and Certification Course will provide you and your staff with the knowledge needed to handle food safely and prevent foodborne illness.

This course is essential for anyone who prepares and serves food to the public. In 2012 and 2013, the County and City of Peterborough (respectively) passed by-laws requiring mandatory food handler certification. These by-laws require all high and moderate-risk food premises within the County and City of Peterborough to have at least one Certified Food Handler working in a supervisory capacity present at all times of operation. These by-laws took effect on January 1, 2014 for high-risk food premises and on January 1, 2015 for moderate-risk food premises. For more information about the by-laws, please contact the health unit.

The topics covered in the Food Handler Training and Certification Course include:

  • food safety legislation and the role of the health unit;
  • foodborne Illness and food safety hazards;
  • safe food handling processes and techniques, with an emphasis on temperature control;
  • food handler hygiene, and
  • cleaning, sanitizing, and facility maintenance.

Course Delivery Options

Classroom Option

The course is presented by an instructor from Peterborough Public Health (PPPH) as a six-hour “in-class” session at various locations across the City and County of Peterborough. The course material is verbally delivered by an instructor along with videos, activities, and a slideshow presentation. Each participant will be provided with a manual to follow along during the course and take with them when they leave. There is a $10.00 refundable administrative charge (cash or cheque) payable 10 days prior to each course.  It will be returned after completing the course.


Click here for course schedule dates

If you have a group of 20 or more people requiring certification, we may be able to deliver the course at your premises, free of charge. Please call the health unit for more information about this option.

PPH  Self-Study Option

Students looking to study the material on their own time and at their own pace may pursue the self-study delivery option. The training manual can be downloaded and printed from the links below. If you do not have access to a printer, you can pick up a copy of the manual from Public Health located at 185 King Street in Peterborough, ON.

PPH Food Handler Manual

Once you have finished reviewing the manual, you must challenge the certification examination with the health unit. The health unit schedules 1 to 2 exam days a month. There is a $10.00 non-refundable administrative charge (cash,cheque, debit). Payment to be received prior to writing the exam.

Click here for examination dates

Certification and Recertification Requirements

The examination for both the in-class and online/self-study versions of the course is a 50 question multiple choice exam. A passing grade of 70% (35/50) is required in order to be awarded a certificate. The certificate is valid across the province of Ontario for five (5) years. When it is expired, you must re-certify by either taking the full course again or challenging the exam only. There is a $10.00 non-refundable administrative charge (cash,cheque, debit). Payment to be received prior to writing the exam.

Click here for examination dates

Information and Registration

For more information about the course or by-law, or to register for one of the scheduled courses or exam days, please contact Peterborough Public Health at (705) 743-1000.  You can also click here  to e-mail your course registration (include your name, type and date of course, phone number, and food premises). Please note: we do not offer free parking or reimburse parking fees to participants.  



Last modified on Aug 10, 2016