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7 Simple Steps to Compliance


There are a number of steps you should take to ensure that you prevent prepared food from becoming contaminated. Learn about the seven steps to ensuring compliance.

1. Protecting food from contamination

  • Store cooked and ready-to-eat food items on shelves above raw food.
  • Cover food with lids or plastic wrap.
  • Use proper utensils to reduce direct hand contact with prepared food.
  • Use water that is safe to drink for food preparation.
  • Label chemicals and pesticides and store them away from food and the food preparation area.
  • Keep all food items at least 15 cm (6 in.) above the floor on shelves, racks or pallets.

2. Food handler hygiene and practices

  • Use a separate handwash basin for each food preparation, processing or manufacturing area.
  • Provide hot and cold running water, soap in a dispenser and clean single service towels, or a cloth roller towel in a mechanical device with a supply of paper towels at all handwash basins.
  • Use handwash basins for handwashing purposes only and not for food preparation or dishwashing.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling food.
  • Confine hair and wear clean outer garments.

3. Temperature and food storage

  • Keep cold food below 4°C (39°F).
  • Keep hot food above 60°C (140°F).
  • Use accurate indicating thermometers in all temperature-controlled units such as refrigerators, freezers and hot holding units.
  • Cook all hazardous foods to the proper minimal internal temperature.
  • Do not display or hold hazardous foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

4. Garbage and waste handling

  • Remove solid and liquid waste from the food preparation area daily or more often if necessary.
  • Store waste in a sanitary manner.
  • Waste receptacles must be leak-proof, pest-proof and non-absorbent with tight-fitting lids.

5. Pest control

  • Cover any openings to prevent pests from entering the food premises.
  • Remove any food or water sources for pests.
  • Consider hiring a licensed pest control operator.

6. Equipment & utensil sanitation and storage

  • Use detergent and water followed by a sanitizing solution of 2 mL of household bleach per 1 L of water.
  • Follow manufacturer's directions for all other types of sanitizers.
  • Keep all food contact surfaces clean and in good condition.
  • Discard and replace cracked utensils or deeply grooved food contact surfaces.
  • Wash all utensils, dishes and equipment either by hand using the 2 or 3 compartment sink method (wash-rinse-sanitize), or in a mechanical dishwasher as required.

7. Premise maintenance and sanitation

  • Keep surfaces clean.
  • Keep floors, walls and ceilings clean and in good repair.
  • All surfaces must be smooth, non-absorbent and easy to clean.
  • Provide proper lighting as per the Ontario Building Code.
  • Maintain proper ventilation levels.
  • Ensure proper operation and maintenance of mechanical dishwasher and other equipment.
  • Keep washrooms and change rooms clean at all times. Provide:
    • A constant supply of hot and cold running water
    • Soap in a dispenser
    • A cloth roller towel in a mechanical device with a supply of paper towels, a supply of clean single-service towels or a hot air dryer at sink
    • Toilet paper and a garbage container