County Approves By-law for Mandatory Food Handler Training at Local Food Premises

Written by admin, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012 – Dr. Salvaterra Commends County for Their Leadership 

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, commended the County of Peterborough for its leadership on Wednesday when it passed a by-law making it mandatory for local food premises to have at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity on site at all times.

“Educating staff that handle food in food premises has been shown to improve inspection results and reduce food borne illness,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “We have offered the Food Handler Training and Certification Course for free for over a dozen years now and still find some food premises that do not have certified food handlers on staff. This new by-law requires that at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity be present at all times when food is being prepared.”

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

The new by-law takes effect for high-risk food premises on January 1, 2014 and for moderate-risk food premises on January 1, 2015.

High-risk and moderate-risk food premises include restaurants, take-outs, supermarkets, banquet facilities, nursing homes, retirement homes, daycares, chip trucks and hot dog carts. Premises which do not prepare food but simply store and sell food such as convenience stores would be exempt from the by-law.

Other jurisdictions which have passed similar by-laws include the 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.  More than 10,000 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


Atul Jain
Manager, Inspection Services
705-743-1000, ext. 259