Food Handler Course
Last Updated: Monday, November 27, 2023
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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.
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.
By-laws and Provincial Regulation
In 2012 and 2013, Peterborough City and County by-laws were passed requiring mandatory food handler certification in all moderate and high-risk food premises.
In 2018, the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 came into effect. This new provincial legislation expands upon our local bylaws to include all “food service premises”.
The Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 states:
“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.”
A “food service premise” is defined as “any food premise where meals or meal portions are prepared for immediate consumption or sold or served in a form that will permit immediate consumption on the premises or elsewhere”
Mandatory Food Handler Certification By-laws:
Free Online Courses for Allergens
There are several online courses, free of charge, related to anaphylaxis and allergens offered by Allergy Aware.
Course Content, developed in part by Food Allergy Canada, includes specific versions for schools (For teachers, administrators and other school personnel), community (For people with potentially life-threatening allergies, their families, caregivers and others) and childcare settings (or child care staff/caregivers).
To access the courses, register now with Allergy Aware.
Classroom Option (Course and Exam)
Peterborough Public Health offers in-person Food Handler Training and Certification Courses in various locations across the City and County of Peterborough. Courses typically run for approximately 7 hours, and will include coffee and lunch breaks. The certification exam will be completed on the same day. See the “Course Schedule” section below for a list of upcoming courses, and contact our office at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 to register.
After nearly a two year halt in services, we are pleased to safely resume in-person classes. Until further notice, all students as well as the instructor, will be requested to wear a mask or face covering which covers their nose, mouth and chin, for the duration of the class. Any other public health measures required by legislation or the facility will be communicated to you at time of registration and course confirmation. For individuals who are not yet ready for in-person classes, or for individuals who are not able to wear a mask for the duration of the class, please review the “Online Option” section below.
Self-Study Option (Exam Only)
Peterborough Public Health will provide a hard or digital copy (download from the link below) of the food handler training manual for anyone wishing to self-study. Once you have completed your studies and feel ready to challenge the exam, you may register for an exam session. See the “Exam Schedule” section below for a list of upcoming exam sessions, and contact our office at: 705-743-1000, ext. 232 to register and arrange to pick up a manual if you’d prefer a hard copy.
PPH Food Handler Manual – Digital Download
The Ministry of Health maintains a list of businesses and organizations offering food handler training and certification. The programs listed by the Ministry of Health are deemed to be equivalent to the training and certification offered by Peterborough Public Health and other local public health units. We will accept certifications issued by these providers after the date that they are listed as equivalent. Many of these independent providers offer online course and exam options. For more information, click here and scroll to “Food Handler Training and Certification” section of the webpage that opens.
To register for one of the courses listed below, or for more information, contact our office weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-743-1000, ext. 232. Courses will be held at Peterborough Public Health Office, 185 King St, Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8, 2nd floor multipurpose rooms, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 6, 2023
- Monday, January 22, 2024
- Monday, February 26, 2024
- Monday, March 11, 2024
- Thursday, April 18, 2024
To register for one of the exams listed below, or for more information, contact our office weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-743-1000, ext. 232. Exams will be held at Peterborough Public Health Office, 185 King St, Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8, 2nd floor multipurpose rooms at one of the following times 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., & 2:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 1, 2023
- Thursday, January 11, 2024
- Thursday, February 15, 2024
- Monday, March 25, 2024
- Monday, April 15, 2024
Peterborough Public Health has a set fee schedule for food handler training courses and certification exams. If the cost would prevent you from attending, please contact us at 705-743-1000, ext. 232. In addition, relief of the fees may be offered if you are taking the course for volunteer purposes, such as volunteering for a Student Nutrition Program inside a local school. We ask that you contact us for more details.
- Food Handler Courses (with exam) – receive Food Handler manual
- Individuals who live or work within the City/County of Peterborough and Curve Lake or Hiawatha First Nations – $20.00
- Individuals who live and work outside of the City/County of Peterborough and Curve Lake or Hiawatha First Nations – $40.00
- Food Handler Exams (self-study option) – $10.00 (for all)
- Replacement Certificate and Wallet Card – $10.00