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City of Hamilton

Food Safety - Food Premises Inspection Program

The goal of the Food Premise Inspection Program is to protect the public by achieving and maintaining the highest possible level of food safety in food premises.

Public Health Inspectors routinely visit nearly 3,000 food premises throughout Hamilton. Their role is to promote safe food handling practices by enforcing the Ontario Food Premise Regulation. Food premises include restaurants, hospital and nursing home kitchens, fast food outlets, supermarkets, butcher shops, convenience stores and special events where food is served.

Certificate of Inspection

A Certificate of Inspection is provided to a premise that successfully met the conditions for safe food handling on the date of its last inspection.  This Certificate advises of the date of the last inspection and is to be displayed at the entrance of the food premise..

A Certificate may be absent at an establishment for one of three reasons:

  1. The establishment does not fall under the City of Hamilton's Licencing By-law for food premises and therefore does not have to post a Certificate (they must however comply with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation). Child care facilities and nursing homes are examples of establishments that don't post Certificates.
  2. Serious food safety violations have been identified on the premises. Public Health Inspectors have put temporary measures in place to deal with these violations. However, the establishment is awaiting re-inspection to ensure that these violations have been permanently corrected. A Certificate is reinstated only when the Inspector is satisfied these permanent corrections have been made.
  3. The food premises may be operating illegally outside of the inspection system.  If you suspect a premises of operating illegally, please contact us at 905-546-3570 or publichealth@hamilton.ca so we can investigate!

Food Premise Orders and Convictions

Establishments convicted of failing to comply with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation can be fined and those posing an immediate risk to the public can be ordered closed. These establishments are listed at Food Premise Convictions and Orders.

Food Handler Training Courses

Food Safety Program staff believe that compliance improves when food premise personnel understand safe food handling practices.  Public Health Inspectors actively promote and provide regularly scheduled Food Handler Training Courses.

Last updated: June 30, 2010