The homemade food industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, and with the rise of food delivery apps and online marketplaces, selling homemade food has never been easier. As a result, more and more Ontario home cooks are exploring the opportunity to sell their food from home. Recently, the Province of Ontario has made it possible for home cooks to sell “low-risk” food items that have been prepared in a home kitchen.
But before you start selling your delectable creations, it’s important to understand the regulations and requirements for selling homemade food in Ontario.
What is considered “Low-Risk” food in Ontario?
In Ontario, the Health Protections and Promotion Act (HPPA) and the Food Premises Regulation (FPR) dictate what can be considered as “low-risk” food items that you can sell.
Low-risk food items are defined as non-hazardous food items that do not require “time and temperature control.”
Some examples of low-risk food items include:
- Most breads and buns (without fillings or meats, etc.)
- Most baked goods (but no custard)
- Hard candies
- Jams, preserves
- Granola, trail mix
- Brownies, muffins and cookies (unless the icing requires refrigeration)
- Coffee beans and tea leaves
Anyone who wants to undertake the preparation and sale of low-risk food items in Ontario must follow the HPPA and FPR guidelines and will need public health inspectors to inspect their premises. Talk to your local health agency for more information.
You must ensure that all food is properly stored, labelled, and prepared according to standards. All food must be checked for cleanliness and food safety before it can be sold to the public.
You must also ensure that all food is kept at the proper temperature and that all equipment is properly maintained.
Regulations for Home-based Food Businesses:
Compared to restaurants, home-based food businesses have fewer regulations to follow. For instance, home businesses will not require a separate sink for hand washing only and are exempt from commercial dishwashing requirements.
While employees working in restaurants and commercial food operations must have food-handler certification, home food businesses are exempt from food-handler training and certification.
Selling homemade food can be a great way to turn your passion for cooking into a profitable business, but it’s important to understand the rules and regulations that apply in Ontario.
By following the guidelines outlined by the Health Protections and Promotion Act and the Food Premises Regulation, you can ensure that your home-based food business is operating legally and safely.
If you have any further questions about the regulations for selling homemade food in Ontario, it’s best to reach out to your local public health inspector for guidance; they are a great resource and it’s their job to help you along.