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

Date Location
August 16 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2018 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
September 6 Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street West, Hamilton,
Heritage Room  (located downstairs as you enter from lobby)
October 11 Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street West, Hamilton,
Heritage Room  (located downstairs as you enter from lobby)
November 8 Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street West, Hamilton,
Heritage Room  (located downstairs as you enter from lobby)

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 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 Thursdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Courses for 2017 will be held on:

Date Location
August 24 David Braley Health Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton,
Room 2018 (at top of the stairs from the lobby)
September 28 Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street West, Hamilton
West Ballroom Foyer (see registration desk at top of stairs)
October 19 Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street West, Hamilton,
MacNab Room (see registration desk at top of stairs)
November 30  Sheraton Hotel
116 King Street West, Hamilton,
MacNab Room (see registration desk at top of stairs)

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 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. We will try to accomomodate you on another date if possible.