By-law for Mandatory Food Handler Training at Local Food Premises Takes Effect January 1

Written by admin, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013 – Food Handler Training Courses Offered Free of Charge at Public Health

The Peterborough Public Health is reminding residents and food premises that a new by-law takes effect in the City and County of Peterborough on January 1, 2014 making it mandatory for high-risk food premises to have at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity on site at all times.

“We look forward to working with our food premises partners to increase the number of certified food handlers overseeing how food is prepared in our community,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Local establishments have been receptive to this new by-law and understand that educating staff that handle food has been shown to improve inspection results and reduce food borne illness.”

High-risk food premises are those that handle food with multiple preparation steps, and/or who serve people at greatest health risks for food-borne illnesses, such as nursing homes, hospitals and some restaurants.  On January 1, 2015, the by-law will extend to include moderate-risk food premises such as fast-food establishments, chip trucks and bakeries that have fewer preparation steps and generally serve healthier populations. Low-risk premises which do not prepare food but simply store and sell food such as convenience stores are exempt from the by-law.

A certified food handler is someone who has completed the Food Handler Training and Certification Course offered by Public Health or an equivalent course.  The course covers:


  • proper food handling techniques with an emphasis on temperature control
  • legislation and the role of Public Health
  • chemical, physical and biological hazards in food
  • personal hygiene
  • cleaning and sanitizing


Peterborough City and County join other jurisdictions that have passed similar by-laws such as cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford and London, as well as Niagara Region and parts of Essex County.

The Peterborough Public Health remains one of only a few health units in Ontario that continues to offer Food Handler Training and Certification Courses to residents free of charge.  Over 13,000 people have taken this course and received their certification from Public Health since 1997.  Individuals or businesses wishing to take the Food Handler Training and Certification Course should call Public Health at 705-743-1000.  Further information about the course is also available on in the “My Work” section under Food Services.


– 30 –

For further information contact:

Chris Eaton
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 225