Food Premises Operators

Important changes

The former Ontario Regulation 562 Food Premises has been updated to Ontario Regulation 493 Food Premises (O. Reg 493).

This new regulation comes into effect July 1, 2018 and contains several changes to requirements.

  • Certified Food Handlers are now required during all hours of operation.

At least one certified food handler must be present during all hours of operation for food service premises. A food service premises is one that prepares meals or meal portions to be eaten immediately at the location or elsewhere.

Examples include:

  • premises that offer scooped ice cream or hot dogs on a roller
  • takeout restaurants
  • full service restaurants

If you only offer prepackaged food, you are not required to have a certified food handler present.

If you need to have additional staff members certified, please check our course options and dates. We are offering courses as needed to meet demand.

  • Removal of double strength sanitizer concentration when sanitizing large equipment that cannot be washed in a sink or mechanical dishwasher.

Under the new regulation, operators will be required to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing and using sanitizer. Test strips or a test kit will be required to ensure the proper concentration is maintained.

  • Flexibility in demonstrating food-specific internal cooking temperatures

The prescribed internal cooking temperatures have been removed from the regulation. However, operators must still follow specific internal cooking temperatures unless able to demonstrate evidence-based safe practices (such as sous vide, sushi and steak tartare).

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 check back frequently for updates and contact us if you have any questions.

Legal requirements for operating a food premises

As a food premises operator, it’s important to understand:

  • Your roles and responsibilities
  • The steps to get approval for your food premises
  • How to operate your food premises safely to help prevent food-borne illness

Foods that are not handled safely could cause a food-borne illness.

Ontario Regulation 493 Food Premises sets the rules that food premises operators must follow to make sure their food is kept safe. This regulation covers things like safe food handling, cleaning and sanitizing, operations, and maintenance. All of these things together are very important, and have an impact on food safety. It is the responsibility of everyone working in food premises to make sure they know the rules that apply to them and to follow those rules.

New food premises operators

If you are a new food premises operator or are moving your food premises, you are required to notify the Huron County Health Unit of your intent to open. This can be done by filling out the intent to operate a food premise form.


If you have a question, call us at 519.482.3416 or toll-free at 1.877.837.6143. Ask to speak to a public health inspector on the Environmental Health team.