Food Handler Certification Program
Please note, York Region Public Health no longer offers Food Handler Certification training courses or exams. Please see below for a list of alternate providers.
Mandatory Food Handler Certification
The Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 requires all food service premises to have a certified food handler onsite at all times.
A food service premises is any food premises where meals or meal portions are prepared for immediate consumption or sold or served in a form that will permit immediate consumption on the premises or elsewhere.
Here are few examples that would fall under this category:
- Banquet halls
- Child care centres
- Convenience stores that sell potentially hazardous food items
- Food take-out
- Recreational camps
- Special event vendors
NOTE: YorkSafe Proof of Inspection Signs acknowledge whether or not a food establishment has at least one certified food handler on-site at the time of inspection.
Food Handler Certificates
A Food Handler Certificate demonstrates that a person has the fundamental knowledge and skills required to handle food safely in a food business.
To receive a certificate, you must complete a Food Handler Certification Training Course and pass an exam with a mark of 70% or higher. Food Handler Certificates are recognized across Ontario and are valid for five years. Expired certificates must be renewed.
Food Handler Certification Training Course and Exam Providers
Please note that York Region Public Health no longer offers Food Handler Certification training courses or exams. Please see below for a list of provincially- recognized providers that offer in-person or self-directed training courses and exams.
Visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for a complete list.
Provincially-Recognized Providers Offering:
In-person Food Handler Certification Training Courses and Exams
Self-directed Online Food Handler Certification Training Courses and Exams
In-person or Online Food Handler Certification Training Exams-Only Option
In-person or Online Food Handler Certification Training Courses and Exams Other languages Option
- Canadian Food Safety Training
- In-person exams available in Farsi, Simplified Chinese and Korean
Some community organizations and employment programs may still qualify for Food Handler Certification training courses and exam sessions hosted by York Region Public Health. To find out if you qualify, please call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 TTY 1-866-252-9933 or email [email protected].
Food Handler Certification Training Manuals
Manuals can be downloaded free of charge using the links below:
- Food Handler Certification manual - English
- Food Handler Certification manual - Chinese
- Food Handler Certification manual - Tamil
- Food Safety - A Guide for Ontario's Food handlers - French
Hard copies of the training manuals can be purchased by emailing Health Connection at @email; or calling 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-525-9933 (for the deaf or hard of hearing), Monday to Friday (except holidays) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Course manuals are available in English, Chinese, Tamil and French.
For more information about the Food Handler Certification Program, please contact us by phone through Health Connection: 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-525-9933 (for the deaf or hard of hearing) or by email: @email
- Global Food Safety Resource Centre - information on food safety standards and practices
- Ministry of Health and Long Term Care – full list of equivalent courses
- MOHLTC food handler certification manual - French