Toronto Food Safety Regulations

Restaurants and other food service establishments in Toronto must comply with all Ontario food safety laws and regulations, but they also need to be aware of municipal regulations that take effect within the City of Toronto.

Food safety in the city is governed by Toronto Public Health, who are responsible for inspecting restaurants and other food establishments to ensure they are compliant. The authority must be notified if you’re opening a new food premises i.e anywhere food is manufactured, processed, prepared, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported, sold or offered for sale. This includes home kitchens where food is being prepared for commercial purposes.

Dinesafe Toronto

DineSafe is Toronto Public Health’s food establishment inspection program. Premises are inspected and given a pass, a conditional pass, or a closure notice. All inspection results are posted to the DineSafe website and made available to the public. Food inspection notices must also be prominently displayed on the premises.

Inspections are typically conducted at least once a year, with some businesses undergoing as many as 3 annually if the inspectors believe it’s warranted.

To achieve a pass from the DineSafe program, businesses must satisfy inspectors in the following categories:

  1. Food temperature control
  2. Protecting food from contamination
  3. Employee hygiene and hand-washing
  4. Maintenance and sanitation of food contact surfaces and equipment
  5. Maintenance and sanitation of non-food contact surfaces and equipment
  6. Maintenance and sanitation of washrooms
  7. Storage and removal of waste
  8. Pest control

Inspections are based on the Ontario Food Premises Regulation which outlines exactly what’s required in each of the above areas. Failure to meet these standards generates an infraction but not all infractions are alike. These are broken down into three levels of severity - minor, significant, and crucial.

Minor Infractions

Businesses with minor infractions can still receive a pass from Toronto Public Health but the concerns have to be addressed promptly. If the minor infraction is still ongoing at the next inspection, the Public Health Inspector can issue a ticket and fines ranging from $55 to $465. 

Minor infractions are those that pose a minimal risk to health such as inadequate ventilation or staff not wearing hair constraints. 

Significant infractions

These are more serious violations of the food safety standards such as unclean food surfaces, inaccurate thermometers, or broken refrigerators. 

Businesses with significant infractions will receive a conditional pass upon inspection, meaning that they will be re-inspected within 24-48 hours and, if they still haven’t addressed the issue, will be subject to legal action.

Crucial infractions

If one or more crucial infractions are noted during an inspection, and they’re not dealt with immediately, the Public Health Inspector will issue a business with a closed notice. Crucial infractions include contamination, lack of safe water, pest infestation, or any other immediate health hazard.


food Hander certification Toronto

The Ontario Food Premises Regulation requires that all food service businesses must have at least one certified food handler on premises during every operating hour.  

Food handlers must keep up their certifications and ensure they’re renewed when needed. Failure to have a certified food handler on the premises can result in fines so it’s important all food establishments get their staff certified. While the regulations require only one certified team member at a time, providing certification to all employees protects businesses in the event that their certified staff member is sick or absent due to an unexpected emergency.

The City of Toronto Food Handler Certificate course isn’t the only way to get certified. Toronto Public Health accepts certificates issued or approved by any Ontario Health Unit. 

FoodSafetyMarket is an approved provider of the Toronto food handling certificate, providing all the information food handlers need to know to satisfy Toronto Public Health.

Our Managing Food Safety food handler certification course is delivered entirely online - hosted by our secure learning platform or easily migrated to your company’s own Learning Management System. 

Delivered in an accessible, engaging format with helpful infographics and real-world examples, our course is the best in the business. Developed by food safety experts and boasting a 98% pass rate, Managing Food Safety allows you to train your team quickly, easily, and conveniently. Contact our team today to find out more.