In order to support entrepreneurs starting home-based food businesses, the province has released a new guide with an overview of public health requirements, and has made regulatory changes to allow people more flexibility in selling low-risk, home-prepared foods.
“For many local entrepreneurs, they start with a love of food and a cherished family recipe, whether it’s grandma’s apple pie or that new take on homegrown pickles, jams and preserves, and try and turn their passion into a successful business,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, the province’s Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Our government applauds them for their vision and effort and we are doing everything we can to help them seize new opportunities without compromising Ontario’s high standards for food safety.”
Low-risk foods include baked goods, pickles, jams and preserves, chocolates, hard candies and brittles, fudge and toffees, granola, trail mix, nuts and seeds, and coffee beans and tea leaves.
“Starting a home-based food business is an excellent opportunity for people across Ontario to share their culinary creativity, build a business for themselves and be part of the province’s agri-food sector,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Our government is committed to encouraging this growing part of the economy and to support all the good things that are grown and produced right here in Ontario.”
See Ontario’s guide on how to start a home-based food business here.
Home-based food businesses that prepare only low-risk foods are exempt from certain regulatory requirements, such as specified handwashing stations in food premises, compliance with commercial dishwashing requirements, and food handling training certification. All food premises, including home-based food businesses, must adhere to requirements under the Health Protection and Promotion Act and the Food Premises Regulation, as well as periodic inspections by their local public health unit.
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