What are the Key Changes to Ontario's Food Premises Regulations and How Do They Affect Foodservice Operators?
Ontario’s new Food Premises Regulation (O. Reg. 493/17), under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7 came into effect on July 1, 2018, bringing with it some important changes for foodservice businesses across the province. Though the Regulation has been in effect since July, the transition to compliance with the new requirements is still ongoing for many establishments. The modernized Regulation has taken the place of the Food Premises Regulation (O. Reg. 562), which dated all the way back to 1967, and tackles issues like food handler training, energy conservation, and more.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Tony Amalfa, a nationally certified public health inspector and the CEO of Advance Public Health Consulting, about what foodservice operators in Ontario should be aware of to be compliant, and how they can more effectively make the necessary transitions. Tony served as the Manager of Environmental Health Policy and Programs at the Ontario Public Service with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for more than 10 years, where he led the efforts to modernize Ontario’s Food Premises Regulation. Tony has also held positions with two of Ontario’s public health units, and launched Advance Public Health Consulting, a public health consultancy and training provider for certified public health inspectors, in July 2018.
Working with Ontario's Public Health Units to Support the Implementation of the New Ontario Regulation 493/17 Regulation
O. Reg. 493/17, the new Ontario Food Premises Regulation, came into effect on July 1, 2018, modernizing the previous regulation which dated back to 1967. The Food Premises Regulation has removed outdated and redundant food premises requirements that no longer apply to modern foodservice establishments, offering foodservice operators more flexibility in areas like safe food preparation procedures, food handling, and cleaning and sanitizing procedures. The Regulation has also made it mandatory that at least one trained food handler be on premises for every working hour that the establishment is open for in order to minimize the risks of food poisoning and poor food safety practices.