Food Safety Training & Certification

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, however as of July 1, 2018, the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 requires that at least one supervisor or food handler on-site in a food service premises have a valid food handler certificate at all times.  In order to successfully obtain the food handler certificate, you must score at least 70% on the certification exam. Once issued, food handler certificates are valid across Ontario for five years.

If your food safety certification has expired and you would like to re-certify, register to write the food handler exam only. To register, call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4278. Photo identification must be presented prior to writing the exam.

We can help you obtain the food handler certificate in the following ways:

1. In-person Course + Exam

The Safe Food Handler Course is a full day in-class course facilitated by a public health inspector. The food handler exam is administered on the same day, after the course.

Course topics include: food-borne illness, microorganisms, time and temperature, receiving and storage, microbiological contamination, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, pest control and food safety management.

If you are interested in attending one of the scheduled courses, register online or call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4278.

  • The cost of the course is $50 (including HST, course materials and the certification exam)
  • Photo identification must be presented prior to writing the exam
  • You should make your own plans for lunch – a 30-minute lunch break is provided
  • Please be aware of our 24-hour cancellation policy: you must let us know at least 24 hours before the course begins to receive a full refund
  • Courses start at 9 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.

Upcoming Food Safety Training Course Dates

Date Status Location
November 6, 2019 OPEN Guelph Public Health Office - 160 Chancellors Way
December 11, 2019 OPEN Orangeville Public Health Office - 180 Broadway

2. Online Course + In-person exam

You may choose to register for an online course. When you’ve completed it, you write the food handler exam at our Guelph, Fergus or Orangeville office. See below for exam information.

The following online courses all offer quality training in preparation to write the food handler exam. Please note that it is only necessary to complete one course of your choice.

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

3. Home Study + In-person exam

You may choose to study on your own, then write the food handler exam at our Guelph, Fergus or Orangeville office.

Home Study Materials:

  • Our Food Handler Certification manual is available for purchase and pick-up at our Guelph, Fergus or Orangeville offices. The cost of the manual is $10.
  • The provincial food handler training manual is available online for free (PDF, 156 pages, 7 MB). 

Exam Information

To register to write the food handler exam only, please call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4278.

  • The cost of the exam only is $15 (including HST)
  • Exam dates are pre-scheduled for all offices, see table below for dates and times
  • Photo identification must be presented prior to writing the exam
  • The exam is currently available in English, French, Chinese, Korean, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Tamil. Please inquire if you require another language and we will try our best to accommodate
Food Handler Training exam schedule at Guelph (Chancellors Way), Orangeville and Fergus.
Date Time Location
October 22, 2019 10:15-11:45 a.m. Orangeville
October 24, 2019 3-4:30 p.m. Guelph
November 5, 2019 9-10:30 a.m. Guelph
November 6, 2019 3-4:30 p.m. Fergus
November 14, 2019 3-4:30 p.m. Orangeville
November 21, 2019 3-4:30 p.m. Guelph
November 26, 2019 3-4:30 p.m. Orangeville
December 4, 2019 10:15-11:45 a.m. Orangeville
December 10, 2019 9-10:30 a.m. Guelph
December 12, 2019 9-10:30 a.m. Fergus