There are approximately four million cases of food-borne illness in Canada every year and the effects could result in lasting disabilities or even death and litigation.
Section 16(2) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) requires that every person who intends to commence to operate a food premise shall give notice of the person’s intention to the Medical Officer of Health or the Health Unit is which the food premise will be located.
All person(s) and/or organizations planning to sell or give food away to the public must notify (using Notification of Food Premises Opening Form) the proposed activity to the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine
Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR), Environmental Health Department at least 14 days prior to the scheduled date of the activity.
The provided information will be reviewed by the Public Health Inspector to ensure that:
- Someone with knowledge of safe food preparations is in charge.
- Food safety procedures are being practiced.
Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act in the Province of Ontario, it is the duty of every Medical Officer of Health to inspect or cause the inspection of any food premises and any food and equipment thereon or therein.
Every person who operates a food premise shall maintain and operate the food premises in accordance with the Regulations.
Food premises owned, operated or leased by religious organizations, service clubs, and/or fraternal organizations are exempt from Ontario Regulation 493 where they:
- Prepare and serve meals for special events.
- Conduct bake sales.
However, when these groups prepare and serve meals for a special event to which the general public is invited, and hazardous food that originates from an uninspected food premise is served, it is required that:
- A notice shall be posted in a conspicuous location at the entrance to the food premise at which the special event meal is held advising public whether or not the food premise has been inspected.
- The operator must keep a list of all persons who donate hazardous food to the special event meal and must provide that
list to a public health inspector upon request. The list must contain donor’s name, address and telephone number in full.
A public health inspector under HPPA may seize food when, in his or her opinion upon reasonable and probable grounds, that the condition of the food is a health hazard and he/she may destroy or dispose of the
food or cause it to be destroyed or disposed of.
As these events are usually staged outside, all of the amenities are not readily available. It is important that the intent of the Regulations be upheld to prevent participants from acquiring a food borne illness.