Health Requirements & Inspections

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:

Times 9 am, 11 am, or 2 pm
Location David Braley Health Centre 100 Main Street West, Hamilton

2019 Exam dates


  • June 25, 2019
  • July 23, 2019
  • August 20, 2019
  • September 25, 2019
  • October 30, 2019
  • November 20, 2019
  • December 18, 2019

2020 Exam dates


  • January 22, 2020
  • February 19, 2020
  • March 18, 2020
  • April 15, 2020
  • May 20, 2020
  • June 17, 2020
  • July 29 2020
  • August 26, 2020

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
  • The exam may be written in the following languages: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Farsi, Korean, Vietnamese, Italian and Spanish

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.

Times Tuesdays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location David Braley Health Centre 100 Main Street West, Hamilton

2019 Course dates


  • July 16, 2019
  • August 13, 2019
  • September 11, 2019
  • October 9, 2019
  • November 6, 2019
  • December 4, 2019

2020 Course dates


  • January 8, 2020
  • February 5, 2020
  • March 4, 2020
  • April 1, 2020
  • May 6, 2020
  • June 3, 2020
  • July 8, 2020
  • August 12, 2020

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
  • The exam may be written in the following languages: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Farsi, Korean, Vietnamese, Italian and Spanish

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 $57, HST included 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.