Kevin Freeborn, Expert in Food Safety and Foodservice Management

Reg. 493/17, the new Ontario Food Premises Regulation, came into effect on July 1, 2018, modernizing the previous regulation which dated back to 1967. The Food Premises Regulation has removed outdated and redundant food premises requirements that no longer apply to modern foodservice establishments, offering foodservice operators more flexibility in areas like safe food preparation procedures, food handling, and cleaning and sanitizing procedures. The Regulation has also made it mandatory that at least one trained food handler be on premises for every working hour that the establishment is open for in order to minimize the risks of food poisoning and poor food safety practices.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tony Amalfa, a nationally certified public health inspector and the CEO of Advance Public Health Consulting, about how you can effectively work alongside public health units. Tony served as the Manager of Environmental Health Policy and Programs at the Ontario Public Service with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for more than 10 years, where he led the efforts to modernize Ontario’s Food Premises Regulation. Tony has also held positions with two of Ontario’s public health units, and launched Advance Public Health Consulting, a public health consultancy and training provider for certified public health inspectors, in July 2018.

Creating healthy working relationships with public health inspectors

With the Food Premises Regulations only being in effect for less than a year, it’s natural that some foodservice operators around the province are still adjusting to the changes. The best way to adapt to these changes and ensure compliance to the Ontario Food Premises Regulation is to work in tandem with Ontario public health units, who are available to help you understand and address the changes that apply to your facility. It’s important to understand that public health inspectors are not strictly there to enforce the regulations, but to work with you to ensure that you can offer customers a safer, healthier food service experience.

Your public health inspector will offer consultation and guidance that will help your establishment meet any new regulations which pertains to your operations, eliminating any confusion that may exist over new requirements.

Direct any questions or concerns to your public health inspector

Working under any new set requirements can bring uncertainty at first – especially for foodservice operators who have been working under the previous Regulation for many years. It’s perfectly normal for you to have questions or concerns relating to compliance with the new Food Premises Regulation, all of which should be directed towards your public health inspector. In addition to working collaboratively with your public health inspector, there are occasions that the assistance of a professional in food safety may be warranted.

Professionals will be able to help guide you through interpretation of the regulation, and can be helpful in identifying and recommending best practices in regards to food storage and preparation, equipment, cleaning and sanitizing standards, and foodservice operation guidelines that can be easily implemented in your restaurant.

To learn more about Tony Amalfa, visit his website at Advance Public Health Consulting, or get in touch with him today. For more information about the food safety training, resources, and infographics offered by our team of food safety experts, contact FoodSafetyMarket today by email at, or by phone at 888-829-3177.