Food Safety Training & Certification

FOOD HANDLER CERTIFICATION TRAINING

Handling food safely is important to help reduce the risk of becoming sick after eating and drinking. Anyone who prepares food can benefit from food safety training.

As of July 1, 2018, the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 requires that every owner or operator of a food service premise and/or commercial kitchen, must ensure that there is at least one certified food handler on site during operating hours. These premises include restaurants, production kitchens, hot deli counters in grocery stores, home-based commercial kitchens, institutional kitchens, special event food vendors, community centres, schools, churches and any other type of commercial kitchen where food is prepared or handled.

WDG Public Health provides food handler training in partnership with Conestoga College.

Courses (Exam Included)

Live Remote Learning with an Instructor

The Food Safety Training Live Remote Course is administered online through Conestoga College. The course consists of two (2) sessions (4 hours each) scheduled on two different days. Students will have 48 hours after the last class session to challenge the exam online as part of the live remote learning course.

Register to take the Food Safety Training course remotely

Please note:

  • For the live remote course please choose: “Online – Synchronous” option when registering.
  • For any clarifications, questions or special requests regarding the course please contact Conestoga College directly at: khennige@conestogac.on.ca​.
In-Person Course

The Food Safety Training In-Person Course is administered in class through Conestoga College. The course consists in one full teaching day. Students will have one hour to write the exam at the end of the course.

Register to take the Food Safety Training course in person

Please note:

  • For the in-class course please choose: “In Person” option when registering.
  • For any clarifications, questions or special requests regarding the course please contact Conestoga College directly at: khennige@conestogac.on.ca.
Online Course (Self-instructed)

Here is the complete list of Food Safety Certification programs approved as equivalent courses by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Home Study Option (Exam Only)

If you prefer to study for food handler certification on your own time and at your own pace, please see the options below for self-study material. Once you have studied the material you can register to complete the exam online. 

Read the Food Handler Manual at Home

Please note:

  • There is no refund of fees.

 

Food Handler Manual Format Cost

Food Handler Manual (digital format) (PDF, 75 pages, 2.7 MB)

FREE

Food Handler Manual (hard copy format) – payment and pick-up at our Guelph, Fergus and Orangeville offices

$25

Take the exam

Please note:

  • In order to obtain the Food Safety Training Certification, you must write the exam. You can register through Conestoga College to take the exam online.
  • Translated exams in up to 18 different languages are available upon request (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi/Persian, Greek, Gujarati/Indian, Hindi, Korean, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese, Cantonese).
  • For questions and/or requests related to the Non-English Exam, please contact Conestoga College directly at: khennige@conestogac.on.ca.

Food Handler Course FAQs

Who should take the Food Handler Course?

The Food Handler Course is for:

  • Any food handler who comes into contact with utensils or with food during its preparation, processing, packaging, service, storage, or transportation
  • Owners / Managers / Supervisors of food premises
  • Employees
  • Volunteers
  • Co-op students

Food Premises that Require Certified Food Handler:

  • Restaurants,
  • Production kitchens
  • Hot deli counters in grocery stores,
  • Home-based commercial kitchens,
  • Institutional kitchens,
  • Special event food vendors,
  • Community centres and arenas,
  • Schools,
  • Markets food vendors,
  • Religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations who rent their kitchen to users outside of the organization, and
  • Any other type of commercial kitchen where food is prepared or handled.
Who is exempt from taking the course?
  • Food vendors that operate in farmers markets that have been deemed exempted from the food premises regulations.
  • Food premises where only pre-packed food is handled.
  • Convenience stores where only prepackaged food is handled, stored and offered for sale.
  • Home-based kitchen where only low risk foods are handled, prepared and stored.
  • Religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations.

Please Note:

To determine if your premise is exempt, please call us. Only a Public Health Inspector can determine your exemption status and what requirements you need to comply with. Exempt operations are still strongly encouraged to have a certified food handler on site.

What does the course cover?

The course will provide you with an understanding of the following areas:

  • Public Health Legislation
  • Role of Public Health Inspectors
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Microorganisms
  • Time and Temperature Control
  • Receiving and Storage
  • Microbiological Contamination
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Pest Control
  • Food Safety Management
Can I take the course and /or the exam in a non-English language?
  • Periodically (demand based) Conestoga College will organize food handler courses in Chinese. Unfortunately, currently courses are not available in any other language.
  • Translated Exams in up to 18 different languages are available upon request (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi/Persian, Greek, Gujarati/Indian, Hindi, Korean, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese, Cantonese).
Can I book a private course and exam?

You can contact Conestoga College directly at: khennige@conestogac.on.ca to discuss the availability for private or special designed courses or exams (i.e. courses/exam in other languages, courses for students with special needs).

Can I get food handler training from another provider?

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will only accept food handler training certificates from a provider that has been approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and from any other Ontario Public health Unit.

Here is the complete list of Food Safety Certification programs approved as equivalent courses by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care.

If my certificate is expired, do I need to take the full course again?

No. After five years you can re-certify by challenging the exam without retaking the full course. We recommend that you review the self-study materials prior to rewriting the exam as regulations or exam content may have changed.