Rural Food Premises Water Samples

Policy

Category: General – Health Protection
Subject: Rural Food Premises Water Samples
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.86.01.102
Effective Date: February 19, 2013

POLICY STATEMENT

It is the policy of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), Health Protection Division, to ensure that the water source of rural food premises not designated under Ontario Regulation 170/03 under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is sampled and tested during regular compliance inspections of these premises. Samples will be collected as per the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion - Public Health Inspector’s Guide to the Principles and Practices of Environmental Microbiology and submitted to a Public Health Laboratory in order to confirm that a supply of potable water, adequate for the operation of the premises, is available.  

SCOPE

This policy applies to all Control of Infectious Disease (CID) and General Program (GP) Public Health Inspectors in the Health Protection Division.

RESPONSIBILITIES

CID Staff and GP Public Health Inspectors will:
  • Conduct inspections of all food premises at a minimum frequency determined by an annual risk assessment, with additional inspections in response to outstanding non-compliant items, complaints and on request;
  • Collect a water sample from each rural food premise not designated under Ontario Regulation 170/03 at each compliance inspection, with additional samples collected in response to adverse water sample results; and
  • Provide education to operators regarding collection of water samples and actions required in the event of an adverse water sample.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure: CA.86.02.102 Rural Food Premises Water Samples
Food Safety Protocol
Drinking Water Protocol
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
Health Protection and Promotion Act

OAHPP Public Health Inspector’s Guide to the Principles & Practices of Environmental Microbiology

APPROVED BY

Rob Thompson 


Procedure

Category: General – Health Protection
Subject: Rural Food Premises Water Samples
Division: N/A
Procedure Number: CA.86.02.102
Effective Date: February 19, 2013

PROCEDURE

  1. Potable water samples shall be collected as per the directions provided in the Public Health Inspector’s Guide to the Principles and Practices of Environmental Microbiology, published by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP), as current.
  2. Copies of the manual are available in the Health Protection Division offices in Fergus, Guelph and Orangeville and can be obtained online at: http://www.oahpp.ca/resources/documents/clinicalguidelines/OAHPP%20PHI%2…
  3. Note: as per the Public Health Inspector’s Guide to the Principles and Practices of Environmental Microbiology, “Health units are discouraged from collecting routine samples from regulated drinking water systems since this testing is performed by accredited commercial laboratories. A PHI under the authority of the Medical Officer of Health may collect water samples from regulated systems if required for investigational purposes such as outbreak situations or when following up an adverse test result.”
  4. Based on the above recommendation, Control of Infectious Diseases (CID) Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) will not collect routine samples from regulated drinking water systems (e.g., those licensed day nurseries, retirement and long-term care homes, etc. that are served by a non-municipal water supply). In the event of an outbreak, complaint, suspect food-borne illness, or adverse test result associated with such facilities, the CID PHI may collect a water sample as part of follow-up investigation and/or inspection.
  5. A minimum of 200 milliliters (ml) is required for analysis.
  6. Whenever a water sample is taken from a food premises, the PHI will document the reason for sampling and the unique water bottle barcode under the closing comments of the Hedgehog Food Premises inspection report.
  7. Samples will be submitted by the PHI as necessary to a local Public Health Laboratory for analysis.
  8. The PHI will scan the bacterial analysis of water submission form showing final testing results to Hedgehog – Documents section under the relevant premise, and will give the final bacterial analysis of water submission form, once received from the Public Health Laboratory, to the Program Assistant for attachment to the premise paper file. 
  9. The PHI will provide follow-up information to the owner/operator and complainant (if applicable) regarding results and interpretation of results.
  10. In the event of an adverse water result, the PHI will provide guidance to the owner/operator regarding re-sampling and/or remedial actions, as applicable. 

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy: CA.86.01.102 Rural Food Premises Water Samples
CA.86.01.100 Food Premises Inspection – All Food Premises
Drinking Water Protocol
Infectious Disease Protocol
Institutional/Facility Outbreak Prevention and Control Protocol
Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol
Health Protection and Promotion Act
Ontario Regulation 562 – Food Premises

APPROVED BY

Rob Thompson