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Food Handler Certification Program
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Become a certified food handler

Food Handler Chef

Toronto Public Health offers Food Handler Certification Courses to provide food handlers with the knowledge of safe food handling practices to prevent food-borne illness.

In June 2006, City Council passed a bylaw requiring Food Handler certification for Food Handlers in the food and beverage industry. Bylaw 678-2006 came into effect on September 1, 2006.

The bylaw requires that the owner/operator of food establishments ensure that there is, at all times when the establishment is operating, at least one (1) certified Food Handler working in a supervisory capacity in each area of the premises where food is prepared, processed, served, packaged or stored.

Furthermore, every person licensed, or required to be licensed under Municipal Code Chapter 545 – Licensing, as a refreshment vehicle owner, operator, driver or assistant shall obtain a Food Handler certificate if such person sells or handles refreshments or is working in a refreshment vehicle from which ice cream, ice cream cones, frozen desserts and other frozen confections are sold.

Every person with whom this bylaw applies shall produce for inspection his or her Food Handler certificate along with a photo identification card upon request by City of Toronto Officials. The photo identification card is a valid card integrated with a photograph of the holder of the card and issued by, or under the authority of, the Government of Canada, a Canadian province or territory, a Canadian municipality or the Medical Officer of Health.

Any food premises that do not comply with this bylaw can be subject to further action by Toronto Public Health including issuing tickets and fines.

Food Handlers may obtain their certification by one of three ways:

  • Attend the Toronto Public Health Food Handler Certification Program course and pass the written exam at the end of the class; or
  • Study on you own and then write the exam during regularly scheduled exam times; or
  • Attend a Food Handler certification course offered by a private company accredited by Toronto Public Health and then obtain a valid certificate issued by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

To comply with the requirements, one must obtain the certificate by successfully passing an examination from a recognized Food Handler certification course and applying for a Food Handler certificate issued by the Medical Officer of Health of Toronto.

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Food Handler training programs

  • Course length - six hours of instruction followed by an exam
  • Successfully pass the exam and receive a Food Handler Certificate valid for five years
  • The Food Handler Certificate issued by Toronto Public Health is recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Health and other Health Departments in Ontario.
  • Course instructors are Certified Public Health Inspectors.
  • Attend any course offered in the Toronto area.

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  • Role of the Public Health Inspector
  • Public Health Legislation
  • Safe Food Handling, Preparation, and Storage
  • Factors contributing to food-borne illness
  • Food Handler Hygiene
  • Food Premises Sanitation

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Additional Information

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Classroom Instruction

  • Includes: Course Manual, Class Instruction, and Exam
       $80.89 (HST included) for sessions June 1, 2012 onwards.
  • Prepayment is required by paying with credit card during registration or by sending a cheque or money order (payable to "Treasurer, City of Toronto") to: Food Handler Certification Program
    Toronto Public Health
    201-40 St Clair Avenue East
    Toronto M4T 1M9
  • The course can be offered at your location with a minimum of 20 participants.

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Home Study
  • Includes Course Manual Only
       $11.56 (HST included) from April 27, 2012 onwards
       $28.88 (HST included) if manual requested to be mailed
       from April 27, 2012 onwards.
  • Exam only
       $34.67 (HST included) for sessions June 1, 2012 onwards
    Course Manuals can be purchased by calling 416-338-7600. Course manuals are available in multiple languages and are available upon request.
  • If you would like to write the exam after reviewing the course manual, register on our website at or call 416-338-7600 to arrange to write the exam.
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