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:

Exams are at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm.  The 2017 exams will be held on:

  • January 10
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 12
  • May 17
  • June 14
  • July 12
  • August 16
  • September - TBD
  • October - TBD
  • November - TBD

Location of exam: The David Braley Health Centre, 100 Main Street West, Hamilton, Room 2032 (at top of the stairs from the lobby, in the Auditorium)

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 the exam in English or French.

How to register

The exam location at DBHC 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 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Courses for 2017 will be held on:

  • January 26
  • February 23
  • March 23
  • April 20
  • May 25
  • June 22
  • July 20
  • August 24
  • September - TBD
  • October 11 - TBD
  • November 8 - TBD

Location for course: The David Braley Health Centre, 100 Main Street West, Hamilton, Room 2018 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)

Course requirements

  • You must show up 15 minutes before the course starts.
  • You write the exam on the same day as the course.
  • You must bring photo ID, a pen and your food handler certification binder to the course and exam. You will not be able to write the exam if you do not bring photo ID.
  • 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 at DBHC 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

Please call 905-546-2489 if you cannot attend the registered exam or course and accommodation may be possible to another date.