Food Handler Requirements and Training

All high and medium risk food premises in Hamilton are required to have a certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity during all hours of operation, under Hamilton’s Food Handler Certification By-law (PDF, 320 KB).

During food premise inspections, public health inspectors will ask the person acting in a supervisory capacity to show their food handler certification card.  Showing the certificate is required by law. For food premises that do not have a certified food handler on site, there is a fine of $365.

How to become a certified food handler

You have three options to become a certified food handler:

The 2018 exams will be held on these dates:

  • January & February Exams will be scheduled at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm
  • Effective March 2018: Exams will be scheduled at 9 am, 11 am and 2 pm
Date Location
January 30, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
February 27, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
March 27, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
April 19, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
May 24, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
June 21, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
July 26, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
August 21, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
September, 2018 To be determined
October, 2018 To be determined
November, 2018 To be determined
December, 2018 No exams in December

Exam requirements

  • You must pre-register for the exam
  • You must arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam starts
  • You must bring photo ID and a pen. You cannot write the exam if you do not bring your photo ID
  • Bring your registration receipt
  • This is not an open book exam
  • You can write exam in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, Farsi, Korean and Italian

How to register

The exam location is used for the exam and course only. Information about Food Handler Certification can be found at a Municipal Service Centre or by calling 905-546-2489.

Courses are Tuesdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Courses for 2018 will be held on:

Date Location
January 23, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
February 13, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
March 13, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
April 10, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
May 8, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
June 12, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
July 10, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
August 7, 2018 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2035 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
September, 2018 To be determined
October, 2018 To be determined
November, 2018 To be determined
December, 2018 No exams in December

Course requirements

  • You must show up 15 minutes before the course starts
  • You will write the exam on the same day as the course
  • You must bring photo ID, and a pen. You will not be able to write the exam if you do not bring photo ID (Course books will no longer be given out in advance and will be provided on the day of the course)
  • Bring your registration receipt
  • This is not an open book exam
  • You should bring a lunch with you

How to register

You must pre-register for the course and exam. We cannot accept payment on the day of your course. Bring your receipt with you on the day of your course.

Check for food handler certification training offered by other agencies.

  • Register in person at one of the Municipal Service Centres. Registrations are not accepted by phone, mail or online
  • Cost is $55 for the course and exam
  • Pay with cash, debit or credit card and certified cheques

The exam location is used for the exam and course only. Information about Food Handler Certification can be found at a Municipal Service Centre or by calling 905-546-2489.

Check for food handler certification training offered by other agencies.

Exams and courses are non-refundable.

Contact us

If you cannot attend the registered exam or course, call 905-546-2489.