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Food Premises

Building and Equipment Plan

Plans and specifications to establish, build, change a food premises, or significantly renovate, require approval by a Public Health Inspector. The layout of your establishment is important for good sanitation. Poorly arranged equipment may create health hazards and affect the economic viability of your operation.

Good planning should allow for the smooth and orderly flow of work from receiving to serving and the return of soiled dishes and utensils to the dishwashing area. The design, construction and installation of food service equipment are important to the sanitary operation of a food premises. Some food equipment suppliers and architects will advise and assist you in preparing plans and developing layouts.

Water Supply
  • You must be able to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water under pressure.
  • The water supply must be potable (safe to drink).
Sewage Disposal
  • The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority must approve all sewage disposal systems in the areas of the City of Ottawa not connected to the municipal sewer system.
Garbage Disposal

Describe your method of garbage disposal and ensure that you provide:

  • Sufficient, suitable enclosed areas for storage of garbage, grease and recyclables.
  • Sufficient outdoor garbage receptacles, especially if providing “take out” service.
Building Plan

Three copies of plans must be submitted (preferably to scale) of your facility showing the location of all rooms within the facility. This includes food preparation, storage, service areas, washrooms, and locker areas. This must be accompanied by the attached “Food Premises Application Form”.

Remember

Approval of plans by the Public Health Inspector does not mean that zoning, building, or other requirements by other authorities have been met.
Layout of Facility
  • Produce a diagram of all rooms. See example on page 5.
  • Plan a good flow pattern for handling foods from receiving through to the serving of foods.
  • Ensure adequate refrigeration and storage space to handle the volume of foods expected.
  • Ensure adequate separation between dirty/clean dishes, and raw/ cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
  • Living quarters must be completely separate from any room where food is prepared, served or stored.
Sanitary Facilities
  • At least one sanitary facility for each sex is required to comply with the R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 562 Amended to O. Reg. 502/01 (FOOD PREMISES)
  • The City of Ottawa, Building Services Branch determines the number of washrooms required within your facility beyond this minimum requirement.
  • All hand wash sinks must have a supply of hot and cold running water, liquid hand soap and paper towels.
Floors, Walls and Ceilings
  • Describe the type of finish you plan to use on the floors, walls and ceilings throughout your establishment.
  • All finishes must be smooth, non-absorbent and easily cleanable in all areas where:
    • food is prepared, served or stored
    • utensils are washed
    • washrooms are located
  • Base junctions where the wall and floor meet should be coved, for ease of cleaning.
Janitorial Facilities
  • Every premises should have a utility sink for equipment such as floor mops.
  • Adequate space is required for the storage of cleaners and cleaning equipment, and must be separate from food preparation and food storage areas.
Equipment Plan

Show location of all equipment within the food premises:

  • List all planned equipment.
  • A three-compartment sink or commercial type dishwasher is required for multi-service dishwashing. (The sinks are to be utilized for dishwashing only).
  • Ensure the sinks are large enough to clean your largest pots and/or pans.
  • Premises which utilize single-service items (e.g. Take Outs) are required to have two (2) sinks for utensil washing.
  • Arrange and install equipment to provide easy access for cleaning
  • Provide conveniently located hand wash sinks in food preparation areas. Hand sinks will be utilized for handwashing only.
  • Additional sinks are recommended for the washing of fruits and vegetables in preparation of food items.
  • Additional hand wash sinks may be required in bar areas or wait stations. Consult a Public Health Inspector.

Example

floor plan

   

Equipment list

1. Grill

7. Work Table

13. Pre-Wash

2. Range and Oven

8. Pan Rack

14. Dishwasher

3. Fryers

9. Vegetable Sink

15. Clean Dishes

4. Canopy Hood

10. Salad Table

16. Coffee Maker

5. Handwashing Sink

11. Under Counter Refrigeration

17. Hand Sink

6. Reach-In Refrigerator

12. Utility Sink

18. Wait Station

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Frequently asked questions

How do I report a restaurant or make a complaint?
What types of food establishments are inspected?

What do Public Heath Inspectors look for during a food establishment inspection?

What constitutes a critical infraction?

What constitutes a non-critical infraction?

What constitutes a high risk food establishment? (Minimum of three inspections per year)

What constitutes a medium risk food establishment (Minimum of two inspections per year)

What constitutes a low risk food establishment (Minimum of one inspection per year)

What are the timeframes for a food establishment to correct any deficiency?

What actions are taken if a critical infraction is not corrected?

What types of infractions could result in a closure order?

The overall mandate of the food safety program is to improve food safety standards and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. The online reports was launched on April 15,2009. Inspectors visit food establishments, both on a routine and complaint related basis, to make sure any deficiencies are quickly corrected, and prepare a report about each visit. This report is posted online shortly after the inspection and includes any deficiencies found at the establishment.

How do I report a restaurant or make a complaint?

Call 613-580-6744 to speak with a public health inspector during regular business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or 613-580-2400 or 3-1-1 after hours.

What types of food establishments are inspected?

Food establishments such as: bakeries, bars, cafeterias, canteens, coffee shops, convenience food counters, day care kitchens, grocery delis, mobile food vendors, pizzerias, pubs, restaurants, special event food vendors and retail stores with food preparation are inspected by Ottawa Public Health.

What do Public Heath Inspectors look for during an inspection?

Public health inspectors monitor all aspects of food operation to confirm that businesses are complying with provincial regulations (Ontario Food Premises Regulation 562). Violations are categorized as critical infractions and non-critical infractions.

What constitutes a critical infraction?

These are infractions that could contribute to foodborne illness.

Some examples are:

  • hazardous foods – such as poultry, meat, fish and shellfish – are not cooked to the proper internal temperature required to kill potentially harmful bacteria (e.g. Hamburger Disease and Salmonella)
  • the same types of hazardous foods are not refrigerated or frozen enough to stop the growth of harmful bacteria
  • ready-to-eat foods contaminated by being in contact with raw foods, chemicals or pesticides
  • a potential for food contamination due to insect or rodent infestation at the food establishment

What constitutes a non-critical infraction?

These are infractions that impact on the overall sanitary condition of the food establishment. However, they do not directly contribute to foodborne illness.

  • cleaning and maintaining food preparation equipment is impeded by either their design or how they are arranged in the kitchen
  • food handlers are not wearing clean aprons and/or hair restraints
  • lack of approved testing methods to measure the sanitizer concentration in the dishwashers
  • insect and vermin-proof containers are not provided where required
  • garbage has not been removed to maintain clean, sanitary conditions on the premises

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What constitutes a high-risk food establishment? (Minimum of three inspections per year)

  • a high risk food establishment is a premises that prepares and handles large quantity of hazardous foods (such as poultry, fish, and beef) that are often involved with foodborne illness – like restaurants, banquet halls and cafeterias)
  • it may also use multi-step preparation for processing food – such as defrosting, cooking, cooling, storing, reheating, preparing, hot holding, slicing, de-boning, mixing, and serving
  • establishments implicated in the past with foodborne illness may also be considered a high-risk food establishment

What constitutes a medium risk food establishment? (Minimum of two inspections per year)

  • a medium risk food establishment is a premises prepares hazardous foods to a lesser degree than the criteria outlined in high risk food establishments
  • a medium-risk establishment prepares non-hazardous foods with extensive handling and/or high volume of patrons (e.g. bakeries)

What constitutes a low risk food establishment? (Minimum of one inspection per year)

  • a low risk food establishment is a premises, that prepares and/or serves non-hazardous foods with a lesser degree of handling and/or smaller volume of patrons
  • the premises has a food storage facility for non-hazardous foods only
  • the low-risk category also applies to food establishments – such as variety stores – where the main public health concern is sanitation and maintenance

What are the timeframes for a food establishment to correct any deficiency?

Critical infractions that pose an immediate risk of foodborne illness must be corrected immediately. For non-critical infractions, the timing of the follow-up inspection is at the discretion of the public health inspector. Very often, minor deficiencies are followed up within three business days or as identified by the public health inspector and the food establishment operator.

What actions are taken if a critical infraction is not corrected?

Public health inspectors have many options and means to bring about compliance with food safety standards and regulations. The first priority is to educate the food establishment owner or operator. If the education fails, enforcement options will be used – including fines, prosecution and closure.

What types of infractions could result in a closure order?

A closure can be ordered if a health hazard is found at a food establishment, and it is not corrected. Examples of the health hazards include:

  • extensive evidence of food contamination
  • insufficient amount of potable water to operate the food establishment in a sanitary fashion
  • sewage back-up into food preparation or storage areas

Operating a food business

The City ensures a high level of food safety in area restaurants, cafeterias, and other food premises is maintained through regular inspections. Public health inspectors monitor all aspects of food operation to confirm that businesses are complying with provincial regulations. The inspectors also make sure any deficiencies are quickly corrected.

Opening or renovating a food business

Prior to opening your food premises, Public Health approval is required.

Through the required review of your facility plans and proposed menu we can help ensure that your equipment and refrigeration are sufficient for your needs. Proper equipment and layout ensures a well- run, economically viable operation that protects the public’s health. We provide information and advice to you and your staff during inspections of your facility. We also offer food handler training courses. Inspections and training programs are in place to help prevent problems from occurring within your food premises. You and the Public Health Inspector share a common goal – to serve safe, quality food to the public.

Food Premises Regulations

Operating a food premises in Ontario falls under Regulation 562 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Public Health Inspectors conduct inspections of premises serving food to the public under this act and its regulations.

When you submit your application, please remember to include:

1. Building and Equipment Plan

2. Brief Description of Your Proposed Operation

3. Menu

  • Provide a sample menu for your establishment. What you plan in your menu has an important impact on the layout of your facility and the equipment needed.

Your menu selection will determine:

  • Type and number of refrigeration units needed
  • Type and number of freezer units
  • Hot holding equipment necessary for safe handling of foods to be served hot
  • Flow process of foods through your facility.
  • Display units for ready-to-eat foods

Please complete the Food Premises Application Form and send along with three copies of your plans to the following addresses:

Ottawa Public Health
Environment & Health Protection Division
100 Constellation Crescent 8th Floor East (26-46)
Nepean, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613-580-6744
Fax: 613-580-9648

Requirements for food vendors at special events

The following requirements have been established to reduce the risk of food borne illness. Please complete and submit the “Application Form for Food Service at a Special Event”, to Ottawa Public Health (OPH) at least two (2) weeks prior to the event. Once the completed application form has been received it will be reviewed by a public health inspector. If required, a public health inspector may contact you to discuss safe food practices specific to your temporary food premises.

It is highly recommended that all employees or persons who handle or come in contact with any utensil or food during its preparation, processing, packaging, service, storage or transportation attend the Food Handler Certification Course. To discuss training, contact Ottawa Public Health or visit the Certified food handler training page. Food vendors at special events not meeting the requirements set out by Ottawa Public Health will not be permitted to operate.

Definitions

The Food Premises Regulation 562 is a provincial law that public health inspectors use to legislate food safety in Ontario. As a food vendor you are responsible for being familiar and compliant with the requirements as prescribed under the Food Premises Regulation. A copy of the regulations can be found on the e-Laws Site

To help guide you, the follow definitions have been taken from the Food Premises Regulation 562, as amended under the Health Protection and Promotion Act R.S.O., 1990 c.H.7.
“Employee” means any person who,

  1. is employed in a food premise, and
  2. handles or comes in contact with any utensil or with food during its preparation, processing, packaging, service, storage or transportation;

“Food” is not limited to, but includes liquids and ice intended for human consumption;

“Food contact surface” means any surface that food comes in contact with in a food premise;

“Hazardous food” means any food that is capable of supporting the growth of pathogenic organisms (organisms that are capable of causing disease) or the productions of the toxins of such organisms;

“Mobile preparation premises” means a vehicle or other itinerant food premise from which food prepared therein is offered for sale to the public;

“Potable water” means water that is safe for human consumption;

“Pre-packaged foods” means food that is packaged at a premise other than the premises at which it is offered for sale;

“Structure” means something that is arranged in a pattern to form a surface appropriate to prepare, serve and store food products (i.e., tables, food vending cart, mobile food premises, and kitchen facility);

“Utensil” means any article or equipment used in the manufacture, processing, preparation, storage, handling, display, distribution, sale or offer for sale of food except a single-service article.

Vendor Responsibilities

A) Food Preparation and Protection

  • All raw hazardous foods must be pre-cut/pre-chopped prior to the event; only final cooking steps are to be conducted at the event.
  • Precooked meats are recommended whenever possible to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
  • All food must be protected against contamination from dust, insects and other contaminants during transportation, storage and display. Food must be covered using a lid, or food wrap (aluminium or plastic). 
  • Food must be stored at least 15 cm (6 inches) above the ground. 
  • To avoid potential contamination raw hazardous foods must be stored separately or below ready-to eat foods (e.g. use separate containers/coolers for raw hazardous foods and ready to eat foods). 
  • Tongs, spoons and scoops must be used where possible to avoid direct hand contact with food.
  • Cooked foods must not be placed on plates or containers that previously held raw hazardous foods.
  • Condiments must be offered in either individual packages or dispensed from a container which protects the condiments from contamination (e.g. pump dispenser or squeeze bottle). OPEN LID CONTAINERS with utensils are NOT permitted. 

B) Temperature Control

  • Hazardous foods must be transported, stored, and maintained at required temperatures. 
  • Cold hazardous foods must be maintained at 4 degrees C or lower.
  • Hot hazardous foods must be maintained at 60 degrees C or above. 
  • Adequate temperatures must be maintained during transportation. Use thermal insulated containers with cold or hot packs or refrigerated trucks to maintain hazardous foods at the required temperatures.
  • Hazardous frozen foods must be thawed in a refrigerator or under cold running water, NOT at room temperature.
  • All cold holding units must have an accurate thermometer.
  • A probe thermometer must be provided to record the internal temperature of all hot and cold hazardous foods.
  • All meats and meat products must be thoroughly cooked and reheated to the temperatures referred to below:

Hazardous Food Items

Cooking °C (°F) for 15 seconds

Reheating °C (°F) for 15 seconds

Whole Poultry

82°C / 180°F

74°C / 165°F

Poultry / Ground Poultry

74°C / 165°F

74°C / 165°F

Pork / Pork Products

71°C / 160°F

71°C / 160°F

Ground Meat (beef, pork)

71°C / 160°F

71°C / 160°F

Fish

70°C / 158°F

70°C / 158°F

Hazardous Food Mixtures

74°C / 165°F

74°C / 165°F

C) Water Supply

  • Only potable water is allowed.
  • The water supply must either be connected to a potable water system or be from an enclosed potable water holding tank.
  • Food grade hoses are recommended when connecting to the water supply.

D) Handwash Basin

  • Every temporary food premises that handles an open food product must be equipped with their own separate handwash basin. The handwash basin must be located in a convenient location within the temporary food premises. 
  • Washroom sinks cannot be used for this purpose. 
  • Hand sanitizers do not replace the requirements for a separate handwash basin. Hand sanitizer should only be used by non-food handlers (i.e. cashiers).
  • Disposable gloves do not replace the requirements for a separate handwash basin. Disposable gloves may be used in addition to good hand hygiene practices. 

Serviced Sites (sites where hydro and a water connection are available to all vendors) 

  • The handwash basin must be equipped with potable hot and cold running water under pressure, a supply of liquid soap and paper towels in a dispenser.

Unserviced Sites (sites where hydro and a water connection are not available to all vendors)

  • For events lasting one (1) day or less:
    • A temporary handwash basin will be permitted. A temporary handwash basin consists of a container with a spigot that is capable of providing a continuous flow of warm running water for approximately 20 seconds, a supply of liquid soap and paper towel in a dispenser. Vendors must also provide a bucket to collect the grey water. (Refer to page 6)
  • For events lasting two (2) or more days:
    • A temporary handwash basin may be permitted. The use of a temporary handwash basin will be determined upon the completion of a risk assessment. The risk assessment will be based on the type of food being prepared and the level of on-site food handling. 
    • Based on the results of a risk assessment a more structured handwash basin may be required. For example a foot pump operated handwash basin equipped with running water, a supply of liquid soap and paper towel in a dispenser.

E) Personal Hygiene

  • Food handlers must: 
    • Wash their hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water as often as necessary to prevent contamination of food and food contact surfaces.
    • Ensure that their hair is confined.
    • Wear clean outer garments.
    • Be free from illness.
    • Not use tobacco within the temporary food premises.

F) Dishwashing and Utensils

  • Only single service utensils (i.e. plastic cutlery, plates and cup) will be permitted. All single service utensils must be stored in a sanitary manner. Re-use of single service utensils is prohibited.

Serviced Sites (sites where hydro and a water connection are available to all vendors)

  • A two compartment sink must be provided and equipped with potable hot and cold running water. Utensils and equipment must be washed, rinsed and sanitized using the two compartment sink method. (Refer to page 7)

Unserviced Sites (sites where hydro and a water connection are not available to all vendors)

  • Where a 2-compartment sink is not available for dishwashing due to the availability of water access, the vendor must be equipped with a sufficient number of extra utensils. The extra utensils will serve as back-up should utensils become contaminated. Four sets of clean utensils are recommended for each day of the event. The extra utensils must be clean, and wrapped to prevent contamination during storage.
  • Utensils that are not washed on-site must be washed/rinsed/sanitized in a commercial premises.

G) Sanitizing

  • Adequate sanitizer concentrations are: 
    • 100 ppm chlorine solution. (Refer to page 8)
    • 200 ppm quaternary ammonium solution. (Follow manufacturer’s instructions)
    • Sanitizing concentrations must be double for all utensils and equipment that cannot be immersed in the sanitizing solution.
  • Wiping cloths for cleaning and sanitizing must be provided and stored in a sanitary manner. 
  • Sanitizing solutions must be prepared daily.
  • Chemicals must be stored away from food products. 
  • All chemical bottles must be properly labelled.

H) Structure

  • All food contact surfaces must be smooth, non-absorbent and easily cleanable. 
  • Temporary food premises that are located on grass must provide adequate flooring. The flooring must be sturdy and easily cleanable (i.e. painted plywood, thick rubber mats). 
  • Temporary food premises must have an overhead cover (i.e. canopy, umbrella, or tent) to protect the food from potential contamination.

I) Solid and Liquid Waste Management

  • An adequately sized garbage container must be provided. The container must be durable, leak proof and emptied regularly.
  • All wastewater must drain into a covered, leak proof holding tank (container/bucket). Wastewater holding tanks must be sized to accommodate an equal or greater volume of the potable water supply. 
  • Arrange for the sanitary disposal of all wastewater. Wastewater must not be disposed of on the ground.

Food Matters

Volume 3 Issue 2

In this issue: 

Defrosting
Special Events
New Food Premises Application
Emergency Response
Learn the safe way to handle food!

Safe can be simple!

DO NOT defrost/thaw potentially hazardous foods, such as chicken, pork, or beef at room temperature.  Bacteria grow rapidly between the temperature range of 4°C/40°F and 60°C/140°F, with room temperature falling right in the middle of this zone.  If foods are left on the counter, sink, or table to defrost, the outside will defrost more quickly and be left for a longer period at room temperature. This will provide a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply quickly.

Breads, buns, and muffins are not considered hazardous foods and can therefore be left out on the counter to defrost.

Tips to defrost safely:

  1. Refrigerator: allow one day or more for large items such as turkeys or roasts
  2. Cold running water: place the food in a water tight bag and submerge in cold running water
  3. Microwave: immediately follow with cooking
  4. Cooking directly from the frozen state

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Keep the event memorable for fun in the sun and not for summertime sickness!

Each year, the City of Ottawa is privileged to host a significant number of special events aimed at celebrating both local and visiting cultures, artists, musicians, and athletes – to name a few. In 2013, the city hosted approximately 900 special events, peaking in the summer months, which resulted in 1050 public health inspections. As the popularity of these events continues to increase in Ottawa - and the subsequent consumption of food and beverages – so too does the opportunity for food borne illness to affect the City’s residents and visitors.  To reduce the risk of illness, OPH has established requirements for those wishing to be food vendors at any special event taking place within the City of Ottawa.  Below are only a few highlights on those requirements:

 Temperature Control

  • Hazardous foods must be transported, stored and maintained at the following required temperatures:
    • Cold foods must be maintained at 4°C/40°F or lower
    • Hot foods must be maintained at 60°C/140°F or higher once fully cooked
  • Use thermal insulated containers with cold/hot packs or refrigerated vehicles to maintain hazardous foods at the above temperatures during transportation
  • Hazardous frozen foods must be defrosted in a refrigerator or under cold running water, NOT at room temperature

Flooring

  • Temporary food premises that are located on grass, gravel or sand must provide adequate flooring.  Flooring must be sturdy and easily cleanable (ie. painted plywood, thick rubber mats)

Handwash Basin

  • Every temporary food premises that handles any open food product must be equipped with their own, separate handwash basin
  • Washroom sinks  CANNOT be used for this purpose
  • Hand sanitizers and disposable gloves DO NOT replace the requirements for a separate hand wash basin.  Food handlers must wash their hands with soap and water.

Dishwashing and utensils

  • Serviced sites: a 2-compartment sink must be provided and equipped with potable hot and cold running water
  • Unserviced sites: where a 2-compartment sink is not available for dishwashing due to the availability of water access, the vendor must be equipped with a sufficient number of extra utensils
  • Only single service utensils (ie. plastic cutlery, plates, cups etc.) will be permitted for patrons

 *Important - Food vendors at special events not meeting the requirements set out by Ottawa Public Health will not be permitted to operate. 

Visit our page for more details regarding special event food vendor requirements and to complete the Application Form for Food Service at a Special Event.  This form must be completed and submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.  Once the form is completed and received, it will be reviewed by a Public Health Inspector.  If required, a Public Health Inspector may contact you to discuss safe food practices specific to your temporary food premises.

If you are looking to become a vendor at an Ottawa special event and have any questions relating to the appropriate food safety protocols, please contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or healthsante@ottawa.ca

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Be successful from the start!

While opening or renovating a food premises can be extremely exciting, it can also be a very stressful -especially if the establishment requires corrective action after construction is completed, as per Ontario Regulation 562 (Food Premises).

Below are some highlights on requirements when opening or renovating a food premises within the City of Ottawa. For more details, please visit our section: Opening or renovating a food business, or call OPH at 613-580-6744.

Application Process

Prospective food premises are required to submit three copies of their facility floor plans to OPH prior to opening. These plans must show the location of all rooms and equipment within the premises, including food preparation, storage, sinks, service areas, washrooms and locker areas.

Note that it may take up to 8 to 10 business days for a Food Premises Application to be processed.

Before your grand opening, make sure you have: 

  1. Submitted your food premises application form to whom? Where can you find it? Who to contact?
  2. Provided 3 copies of your floor plans to who?
  3. Provided a sample menu to who?
  4. Notified Ottawa Public Health of your intent to serve food how?
  5. Had a pre-opening inspection by an OPH public health inspector

Ensure kitchens are appropriately set-up with:  

  • Designated handwashing station(s) in each food preparation, processing or manufacturing area.  Hand sinks must be exclusively for handwashing
  • 2 compartment sink or commercial dishwasher for establishments with only food take-out
  • 3 compartment sink  or commercial dishwasher for all other establishments
  • Hot/cold holding units sufficient to maintain all hazardous foods at 4°C/40°F or lower and 60°C/140°F or above
  • Shelving, racks or pallets to store food a minimum of    15 cm above the floor
  • Electricity
  • Surfaces  constructed of non-porous, easily cleanable materials, designed to allow for easy cleaning and sanitizing
  • Equipment of sound and tight construction, kept in good repair and readily cleanable

Supplies

  • Sanitizer and test strips capable of verifying the concentration of the sanitizer
  • Thermometers in every temperature controlled room or compartment

Water

  • A supply of potable water adequate for the operation of the premises – this is a requirement at every food premises!
  • Hot and cold running water under pressure. All areas where food is processed, prepared or manufactured and where utensils and dishes are washed are required to have hot and cold running water under pressure

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Food Safety during a Fire

During and after a fire, personal safety always needs to be paramount. While fires pose personal safety concerns when evacuating a food premises, they also create considerations related to food and equipment.  As heat, exposure to smoke, fumes or fire fighting chemicals can cause damage, fires have significant implications on  food products, surfaces and equipment that can be hazardous to human health.  There is also the potential that foods may be left in the danger zone (the temperature zone above 4°C/40°F and below 60°C/140°F) allowing harmful bacteria to grow.

During a fire, follow these steps to reduce food safety risks:

  1. Uncontrolled Fire: Immediately evacuate and call 911; or Confined Fire: Extinguish with on-site extinguisher.
  2. Close the facility and halt all food preparation/cooking
  3. Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744
  4. Discard all food items kept in the danger zone for more than 2 hours, and damaged by the fire. When conducting a follow-up inspection,  a  PHI will assess items to be discarded such as:
    1. Food products that have been exposed to chemical suppressants and ashes
    2. Foods that are in opened containers
    3. Foods in paper or cardboard containers
    4. Porous materials (sacks, weaved bags)
    5. Ice or Slushie beverages 
    6. Cans that are swollen, dented or rusted
  5. Clean and sanitize all surfaces (floors, walls, ceilings), equipment, utensils and containers that are in the food premises prior to re-opening 

Do NOT:

  • Taste food to determine if it is safe to eat.  Harmful chemicals or bacteria may be present that could cause severe illness
  • Re-open the premises before the Public Health Inspector has conducted an inspection and approved the re-opening of the food premises

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Learn the safe way to handle food!

Enroll today and become a Certified Food Handler

Courses offered in English, French and Cantonese.

More than 10 staff members? We can provide a private course to certify your staff. 

Contact Ottawa Public Health for more information:

Tel:         613-580-6744, ext. 26160
TTY:       613-580-9656
Email:     foodhandlercertifica@ottawa.ca

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Food recalls and advisories

These warnings are provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps

These symptoms may accompany fever, chills, loss of appetite, or headache.

Often people describe these symptoms as the "stomach flu." If you suffer from mild or severe symptoms, consult your physician and notify Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

Useful links

Food safety tips – includes tips for seniors, pregnant woman and preparing food at home
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care of Ontario - Information on listeria
How to Use Water Safely During a "Boil Water Advisory"

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