Ontario Food Premises Regulation construction requirements
The Ontario Food Premises Regulation (O. Reg 493/17), under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, provides the minimum requirements for operation of a food premises. We have summarized some of the basic construction requirements to help you as operators comply with the regulations and fulfill your responsibility to prepare, serve and sell safe and wholesome food.
For the complete requirements, please refer to the O. Reg 493/17. You can also obtain a copy of the Regulation by contacting the Ontario Government Book Store at 1-800-668-9938.
- The food premises must be constructed, operated and maintained such that it does not pose a health hazard.
- Any area where food is present cannot be used for sleeping purposes.
- Storage space must be provided for employee clothing.
- The floors, walls and ceilings in the food preparation and dishwashing areas must be constructed of materials that are tight, smooth, non-absorbent, and can easily be cleaned.
Adequate lighting must be maintained during all hours of operation of a food premises. The requirements for the levels of illumination are regulated under the Ontario Building Code; speak with the Building Department for more information.
Ventilation shall be maintained such that it does not become a health hazard. The specific ventilation requirements for washrooms and food preparation areas are regulated under the Ontario Building Code; speak with the Building Department for more information.
- Adequate refrigeration facilities are required for keeping cold foods at 4°C or below. Frozen foods must be maintained -18°C or below.
- Adequate facilities are required for keeping hot foods at 60°C or above.
- Any piece of equipment used in the kitchen must be constructed such that it may be readily cleaned and sanitized.
- Food equipment must also be corrosion resistant, non-toxic and free from cracks, crevices and open seams.
- All racks, pallets, shelving units to be a minimum of 15 cm off the floor.
- Handwashing Basin
- A separate handwashing basin, supplied with liquid soap in a dispenser, single-service towels, and hot and cold running water under pressure must be provided in a convenient location within each food preparation area.
- For example, in a food premises with two food preparation areas – a front take-out area where food is assembled and a rear kitchen area where food is prepared – a minimum of two handwashing basins would be required.
- Handwashing Procedures
Sinks for Cleaning and Sanitizing of Equipment and Utensils
- As the first line of defense in preventing food-borne illness, hands much be washed:
- With soap and warm water
- Before starting food preparation
- When switching foods
- After handling food
- After a break
- After using the washroom
- When hands are dirty
- Alcohol based sanitizers do not replace washing hands with soap and water. Alcohol based sanitizers can be used after hands have been washed with soap and water. Disposable gloves are not required. If gloves are used, hands must be washed before and after glove use as wearing gloves does not replace washing hands with soap and water. Gloves provide an additional barrier to contamination when used properly.
Food Preparation Sink
- If multi-service equipment and utensils (i.e., reusable cutlery and dishware) are used by patrons, one of the following is required:
- A three-compartment sink of adequate size for the manual wash, rinse, sanitize procedure. Adequate size means that all utensils can be immersed within the sink.
- One commercial-style mechanical dishwashers equipped with a temperature gauge:
- High temperature machine
- Low temperature machine with chemical sanitizing rinse.
- An additional two-compartment or three-compartment sink must be considered if all equipment and utensils cannot be properly cleaned and sanitized in the commercial-style mechanical dishwasher.
- If single-service equipment and utensils (i.e., disposable cutlery and dishware) are used by patrons, a two-compartment sink of adequate size for manual wash, rinse, and sanitize procedure must be made available. Adequate size means that all utensils can be immersed within the sink.
- In addition to handwashing basins and sinks to wash and sanitize utensils, depending on the nature of the food preparation, a food preparation sink may be required.
- Janitorial sink/trough must be provided for the sanitary disposal of liquid wastes.