Food Safety

The Brant County Health Unit’s Public Health Inspectors help reduce and prevent food-borne illness in our community. Duties of health inspectors, with respect to food based establishments, includes:

  • Inspecting food premises for unsafe food handling practices
  • Investigating cases of food-borne illness
  • Training food handlers
  • Promoting public awareness of food-borne illnesses and safe food-handling practices
  • Enforcing Ontario Food Premise Regulation 493/17 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act
  • Responding to reports of food safety-related issues arising from emergencies (extreme weather, power outages, etc.)​

The Health Unit’s Inspection Reports provide quick and easy access to the results of food safety inspections. Food Inspection results must be posted on our website, in compliance with Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 s.6.

Learn more about the Food Handler Certification Program, food safety inspection schedules, and how to plan for a special event, through the the information below.

The Food Handler Certification Program is available through the Brant County
Health Unit to teach people working in the food service industry general principles of safe food handling. The goal is to keep residents of Brantford and Brant County safe from the spread of disease and illness through food.

The Brant County Health Unit keeps a database of all passed and failed food handlers, so if you need your food handler certificate replaced, please contact the Brant County Health Unit to have one mailed to you.

The Ontario Public Health Standards, Food Safety Protocol 2016, and Guidance Document for the Risk Categorization of Food Premises, 2015 outlines an inspection schedule based on the risk to the public.

High-Risk – (minimum three inspections per year, not less than once every four months)

A premises that prepares hazardous foods and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Serves vulnerable and/or immunocompromised populations like in hospitals, long-term care facilities and child care centres
  • Preparation of foods that involve multiple preparation steps (e.g., defrosting, cooking, cooling, reheating, and hot holding)
  • History of past foodborne illnesses or outbreak associated with the establishment
  • History of critical infractions within the past year
  • Food safety plan is warranted but not in place, and hazard analysis critical control point program not in place

Medium-Risk – (minimum two inspections per year, not less than once every six months)

A premises that meets one of the following criteria:

  • Prepare hazardous foods but do not meet the criteria outlined in the High Risk category above
  • Prepare non-hazardous foods with extensive handling and/or high volume of patrons (e.g., full service restaurants, bakeries)
  • Operates as food take-out business only

Low-Risk – (minimum one inspection per year, not less than once every 12 months)

A premises that meets one of the following criteria:

  • Does not prepare hazardous foods, but sells pre-packaged foods
  • Prepares non-hazardous foods with limited to no food handling
    (e.g., convenience stores, church kitchens, public hall kitchens)

*Under Ontario Food Premise Regulation 493/17 fine can be issued for infractions or offences. Examples of infractions and associated fines can be seen in the table below. For a full list click here.

Food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard ​subclause 7 (1) (a) (i) ​$465.00
​Food premise maintained in manner adversely affecting sanitary operation ​​subclause 7 (1) (a) (ii) ​$465.00
​Fail to provide food premise with adequate potable water supply ​clause 7 (3) (a) ​$465.00
​Fail to provide adequate number of handwashing stations ​clause 7 (3) (c) ​$465.00
​Handwashing stations not conveniently accessible by food handlers ​clause 7 (3) (c) ​$120.00
​Fail to provide hot and cold running water in food preparation area ​clause 7 (3) (b) ​$465.00
​Fail to provide thermometer in storage compartment ​21 ​$100.00
​Fail to protect food from contamination or adulteration subsection ​26 (1) ​$465.00
Fail to process food in manner safe to eat ​subsection ​26 (2) $305.00
Fail to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food. clause 33 (1)(e)​ $305.00
Fail to ensure presence of food handler or supervisor during all hours of operation section 32 $305.00

If an unsafe food source is identified, we will conduct a food safety investigation and remove the product(s) from retailers.

Follow our guidelines if your event involves:

  • Handling food
  • Being open to the public
  • Being hosted by an individual, group, business, or organization which is not recognized as a religious organization, service club or fraternal organization

Events that run more than 14 days a year must  comply with the Food Premises Regulation of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. An inspector will enforce this act through routine inspections.​

If you plan to open or renovate a food premise, please view our Guide to Opening a Food Premise.

An electronic version of our Notice of Intent and Assessment Checklist form is available to be filled out online.

We also have a Home Canning Resource available to assist with the compliance of the Food Premise Regulation 493/17 pursuant to the Health Promotion and Protection Act.

To learn more about public health inspection grades, please view our Public Health Inspection Grading Guide for Food Premises.

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