A reminder from Public Health about rules for opening home-based food businesses

With the recent provincial announcement about Ontario supporting home-based food businesses during COVID-19, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding prospective food business operators that per legislation, they must first notify the Medical Officer of Health.

Under provincial legislation, operators of food premises, including home-based businesses, must notify the Medical Officer of Health of their intention to prepare food for the public. Notification can be completed in writing by using the notice of intent to operate a food premises application form which is available on our website.

Once Public Health receives notification for a home-based food business, a public health inspector will review the operator’s intentions and then inspect the premises for compliance with provincial food safety legislation. Public health inspectors will work with owners and operators of home-based food businesses to ensure that food is prepared in a safe and sanitary manner to prevent cases of food-borne illness.

Home-based businesses are only permitted to prepare low risk food items. Low risk foods are considered non-hazardous and do not require refrigeration. Examples include pickles, jams and preserves, chocolate, hard candies, brittles, fudge and toffees, granola, trail mix, nuts and seeds, coffee beans and tea leaves as well as baked goods with no custard or icing that requires refrigeration. Prospective operators are encouraged to contact Public Health to discuss their set-up and food menu.

Prospective home-based food business operators should also contact their municipalities with regards to any necessary zoning, licensing, building, and/or fire requirements.

For more information on operating a home-based food business, refer to the Ministry of Health’s Guide to Starting a Home-based Food Business, visit our website at phsd.ca, or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).