Food Handler Certification Program
Well informed food handlers provide safer foods, understand their responsibilities clearly and may improve the bottom line of a business, by reducing food waste and liability. While currently not mandatory in all areas of Ontario, food handler training is encouraged by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The health unit works with local food businesses to help meet their needs for training by providing options for learning and specific training aimed at specific groups. Please review this section of the website to find the option that suits you best.
Food Handler Certification Training Options
The Health Unit has several options for food handlers to receive training, enhance safe food handling practices and achieve certification. These options include classroom style learning and self-directed learning. The classroom style option has an instructor teaching the material over the course of one day with a written exam to be completed at the end of the course. The self-directed learning options such as online learning and home study offer participants flexibility to complete the course on their own schedule and at their own pace. As the most common option is classroom style learning, the health unit offers the one day course once a month with the exception of July and August. The course locations alternate between the Brockville and Smiths Falls offices. The online learning and home study options can be taken at any time; however arrangements to complete the exam at a health unit office need to be made.
Courses for groups with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 may be arranged to be delivered at your workplace on a week day of your choice for a fee of $35.00 per person. Payment is required prior to the course and includes all course materials and the exam.
- Well informed food handlers provide safer foods, understand their responsibilities clearly and may improve the bottom line of a business, by reducing food waste and liability
- After completing a standardized closed book multiple choice exam and achieving a minimum grade of 70% you will receive a food handler certificate. Your certificate will be available within fifteen days of completing your exam and is valid for five years.
- The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care encourages all high and moderate risk food premises to have a least one certified food handler present at all times during hours of operation.
- Many institutions and food safety minded businesses require this certificate as a condition for employment
- In some health unit jurisdictions food handler training is a mandatory requirement
- This certificate is accepted by all health units in Ontario.
- This credential may improve your chances of finding employment in the food industry.
- In class courses are taught by certified public health inspectors with a clear understanding of issues commonly occurring in food premises and up to date knowledge of public health legislation. They are available to answer questions and dispel myths about food safety.
- Food Handler Certification expires after five years, so ensure your certificate is current.
Topics Covered in this Course Include:
- Introduction to Food Safety and Legislation
- Food-borne Illness
- Conditions Bacteria Require for Growth (FATTOM)
- Safe Food Handling
- Understanding Cross-contamination
- Receiving and Storage
- Safe Food Service
- Food Handler Hygiene
- Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Pest Control
- Keeping Food Safe During Emergencies
- HACCP Food Safety Management
Registration for Classroom Style Food Handler Training Courses
Courses will be provided on the following dates and locations;
- Brockville Office - 458 Laurier Blvd.
- Monday, March 27th, 2017 - NOW FULL
- Monday, May 29th, 2017 - NOW FULL
- Monday, September 25th, 2017
- Monday, November 27th, 2017
- Smiths Falls Office - 25 Johnston St.
- Monday, February 27th, 2017 - NOW FULL
- Monday, April 24th, 2017 - NOW FULL
- Monday, June 26th, 2017 - NOW FULL
- Monday, October 30th, 2017
- Monday, December 4th, 2017
- There is a $35.00 registration fee per person attending the course. The registration fee includes all course materials, the exam and upon successful completion of the exam, your certificate.
- Full day courses run from 9:00 to 4:00 pm with breaks including a half hour break for lunch (please bring your own refreshments and lunch). Registration starts at 8:30 am when the office is open for business.
- Class sizes are limited to 25 participants and registration is on a first come basis.
- As many people are sensitive to scents and fragrances we ask that you do not use these products when attending a course at the health unit.
- We require that all personal devices be turned off during the instructional period to ensure participants are not disturbed.
- To register please call 613-345-5685 (Brockville office) or 613-283-2740 (Smiths Falls office).
- Toll free number 1-800-660-5853
- Picture ID is required to take the exam.
Online Option for Food Handler Certification:
In Good Hands is an online food handler training program that prepares you for the food handler training certificate exam. You can complete the course over the intranet at your own pace by registering at http://www.ingoodhands.ca. A fee applies that is paid directly to the service provider. Once you have completed the modules you can contact the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit to arrange a date to write the exam. Please ensure you print off a copy of your In Good Hands completion certificate and bring it with you when you come in to write the exam.
There is a fee of $25.00 to write the exam. Upon achieving a minimum grade of 70% on the exam you will receive your Food Handler Training Certificate within 15 days.
Home Study Option
If you do not have access to a computer to take the online course or you cannot attend one of the full day courses, we offer a home study version of the Food Handler Certification Course. The home study version consists of a written course manual. The manual is available for a fee of $15.00 and is available in English and French upon request. Once you have completed the manual, please contact the health unit to arrange a date and time to take the exam. The exam fee is $25.00. Upon achieving a minimum grade of 70% on the exam you will receive you Food Handler Training Certificate within 15 days.
Food Handler Training Certificates are valid for a period of 5 years. The date of issue and expiry is indicated on each certificate. Ensure your certificate is valid and if the expiry date is approaching consider one of the above options to update your knowledge and skills and prepare yourself for the required exam so you can receive a new certificate.
Free Online Learning Modules
These free educational modules focus on food safety issues specific to various settings. Each module takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Upon completion of each module and achieving 70% on the quiz specific to each module you will receive a certificate.
Institutional Food Safety Module
This module focuses on issues specific to the institutional food setting. It builds on the foundation provided by the Food Handler Certification course which you must complete prior to enrolling in this module. Staff working with food in the hospital, retirement home, long term care and day care setting will benefit from completing this module. This module takes approximately 25 minutes to complete.
To Market To Market - A Safe Food Handling Module for Vendors at Farmers’ Markets
This module focuses on food safety issues specific to vendors preparing and selling food at local farmers’ markets. There is no requirement to complete the Food Handler Certification course prior to enrolling in the module. This module takes approximately 35 minutes to complete.