July 1, 2018 Updates to Regulations
Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493 has replaced the former Ontario Food Premises Regulation 562 as of July 1, 2018.
The updated Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493 can be viewed here.
Food Handler Certification
“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.”
In 2012 and 2013, local by-laws were passed requiring mandatory food handler certification in all moderate and high-risk food premises. Under the new provincial regulation this requirement has been expanded to include all “food service premises”. 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.”
Posting of Inspection Results
“Every operator of a food premise shall ensure that the results of any inspections conducted by a public health inspector are posted in accordance with the inspector’s request.”
Operators of food premises will now be required to post an inspection disclosure sign in plain view for the public to see. This sign will provide information about viewing our online disclosure system, which can also be found here.
The new regulation specifies that potentially hazardous foods must not exceed two hours in the temperature range between 4°C and 60°C (40°F and 140°F). Furthermore, hot-holding equipment must now be equipped with accurate indicating thermometers to ensure a temperature of 60°C (140°F) or above is being maintained. Fridges are still required to be equipped with accurate indicating thermometers to ensure a temperature of 4°C (40°F) or below is being maintained. Frozen food must still be maintained in a frozen state, but the -18°C (0°F) temperature requirement for freezers has been removed.
“All food must be processed in a manner that makes the food safe to eat.”
Specific cooking temperatures have been removed from the regulation to provide food premises with the flexibility to prepare potentially hazardous foods in different ways, including: fermentation, pickling or applying a lower cooking temperature for a longer period of time. If a food premises wishes to prepare foods in an alternative way, they must first consult with their Public Health Inspector and develop written, evidence-based, safe preparation procedures.
Otherwise, the safe internal cooking and re-heating temperatures (see chart) are expected to be followed. These temperatures must be held for at least 15 seconds.
|Type of Food||Internal
|Fish||70°C (158°F)||70°C (158°F)|
|Pork & Pork Products (whole / pieces)||71°C (160°F)||71°C (160°F)|
|Ground Meat (not containing poultry)||71°C (160°F)||71°C (160°F)|
|Food Mixtures (with egg, meat, poultry, fish, or another hazardous food)||74°C (165°F)||74°C (165°F)|
|Poultry (ground / pieces)||74°C (165°F)||74°C (165°F)|
|Whole Poultry||82°C (180°F)||74°C (165°F)|
Cleaning and Sanitizing
The requirement to use double the concentration of sanitizer when sanitizing large equipment or surfaces that cannot be washed in a sink or mechanical dishwasher has been removed. If using chlorine, quaternary ammonium or iodine, the manufacturer’s directions for sanitizing must be followed and test strips or reagent kits must still be used to ensure proper concentration of chemical. Alternative sanitizing agents can be used as long as they are approved by Health Canada or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for their intended use and test strips or reagent kits must be used to ensure appropriate chemical concentration. If a food premises wishes to use an alternative sanitizing agent they must first consult with their Public Health Inspector.
“Every operator of a food premise shall ensure that records of the purchase of food for use in the premise are retained on the premise at least until the first anniversary of the purchase date.”
“Every operator of a food premise shall maintain records of all pest control measures that are undertaken in the premise and shall retain the records for at least one year after they are made.”
Food Handlers and Hair Confinement
A food handler has now been defined as “any person who, is employed in a food premise, and handles or comes in contact with any utensil or with food during its preparation, processing, packaging, service, storage or transportation”.
As always, food handlers must practice good personal hygiene and refrain from any action that could result in the contamination of food or food areas. Further to this, food handlers (including servers), must “take reasonable precautions to ensure that food is not contaminated by hair”.
We are committed to working with you and will share more information from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as it becomes available.
Please read through the entire Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493 so that you are aware of all changes.
For more information or any questions, please contact your Public Health Inspector at 705-743-1000.