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Food Preparation Regulations

Expert: York Region Health Department

Alice asked:

My question is what are the government regulations regarding food preparation in home, for retail consumption?

York Region Health Department answered:

Thank you for submitting your question to us. We sent your question on to the Ontario Ministry of Health, and they said for you to call your local health department. We called the York Region Health Department, and they provided us with the following information.

In reply to your question the York Region Health Department wrote:

"For any kind of in-home food preparation, you must follow Ontario Food Regulations. These are what all restaurants and catering businesses follow. These include certain rules regarding the food itself, and its refrigeration, cooking, storage, maintenance, hot-holdings etc.

There are also regulations for the premises you're preparing it in. You must have a separate kitchen than the one in your home. Again, there are guidelines for that, including ventilation, the number of sinks, easily cleaned walls, stoves etc. People that run restaurants or catering businesses out of their homes usually rent inspected and approved kitchens when they're needed, like at a community centre.

If you do decide to prepare food in you house, and build a separate kitchen, you have to have a floor plan; this must be approved by the food inspector and the building department.

For a copy of the Ontario Food Regulations, you can call your local health department, and talk to a food inspector. They have a package with the regulations, an information booklet and will be able to answer any questions or concerns you have. You can find your local number in the blue pages of your phone book.

The Ontario Publications Bookstore in Toronto, located at 880 Bay Street will also have a copy."

You can access the Ontario Ministry of Health online at

For food information, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is at

For building questions, contact the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at

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