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Every year people get sick from eating contaminated food and water. As a food handler, learning about safe food handling practices can help reduce the number of people getting sick. The Food Handler Course will teach you how to keep food as safe as possible in order to protect your community.

Important for Food Service Premises

As of July 1, 2018, if you are an owner or operator of a food service premises you are required to ensure that there is at least one food handler or supervisor on the premises who has completed food handler training during every hour in which the premises is operating. A food service premises is defined as “any food premise 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” (O. Reg 493/17, Section 1(1)). These premises include restaurants, grocery store hot deli counters, institutional kitchens, special event food vendor, community centres, schools, churches and special events.

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Course Information

In-Class Food Handler Course

  • 6-7 hours of instruction.
  • Day and evening courses available. Evening courses are separated into two nights.
  • Includes a manual and a probe thermometer.
  • Must register for exam separately.
Price
(including HST and fees)

$40.00*

In-Class Recertification Course

  • 2 hours of instruction.
  • For people who have taken the course before and who have expired certificates.
  • Includes manual and probe thermometer.
  • Must register for exam separately.
Price
(including HST and fees)

$20.00*

Online Food Handler Course

  • 24 hour login access from any internet connected computer.
  • Must register for exam separately.
  • Visit learn.wechu.org to register
Price

FREE

Exam

  • 1 hour exam that is written in person.
  • Minimum grade of 70% or higher to get certificate.
  • 50 multiple choice questions.
  • Accommodation provided (e.g. reading exam).
Price
(including HST and fees)

$10.00

Self-Study (Course Materials Only)

Price
(including HST and fees)

$10.00

Registration

You can register for your in-class course at our offices at three locations.

Windsor Location

In-Class Day Course
Evening Course
Re-certification Course
Exam

Essex Location

Courses
Exams

Leamington Location

Courses
Exams

Online Courses

To register for the online course, visit our e-learning server.

Make sure you register for both your class and your exam. Exams are not included in the price of the in-class or online courses.

Who should take the Food Handler Course?

The Food Handler Course is for:

  • Food handlers at restaurants or food service premises. A food handler is any person who comes into contact with any utensil or with food during its preparation, processing, packaging, service, storage or transportation

  • Supervisors of food premises

  • Managers of food premises

Community Centres and Arenas

Community centres and arenas often have food booths, cafeterias, banquet facilities or special events. Under the Food Premises Regulation 493/17, every food service premises is required to have a minimum of 1 certified food handler on site during each hour of operation.

Child Nutrition Programs

Many schools participate in child nutrition programs where snacks and meals are prepared for children. These food service premises are required to have a minimum of 1 certified food handler on site during each hour of operation. This also applies to before and after school programs.

Special Events

A special event where food is being served falls under the Food Premises Regulation 493/17. Special event organizers and vendors must submit a special event application to public health for approval. Special events are required to have a minimum of 1 certified food handler on site during each hour of operation.

Religious Organizations, Service Clubs and Fraternal Organizations who rent out their kitchen

Religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations who rent their kitchen to users outside of the organization are required to have a minimum of 1 certified food handler during each hour of operation is in effect.

Who is exempt from taking the course?

Religious Organizations, Service Clubs and Fraternal Organizations

Religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations are exempt from parts of the Food Premises Regulation 493/17. These organizations are not required under the regulation to have a certified food handler at the food premises, however it is strongly recommended.

Special Events for Religious Organizations, Service Clubs and Fraternal Organizations

Religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations are exempt from the regulation if they are the ones hosting the special event. These organizations are still required to submit a special event application, keep a list of persons donating hazardous food items, and post a notice informing patrons the event is not inspected.

What does the course cover?

The course will provide you with an understanding of the following areas:

  • Public Health Legislation
  • Role of Public Health Inspectors
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Microorganisms
  • Time and Temperature Control
  • Receiving and Storage
  • Microbiological Contamination
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Pest Control
  • Food Safety Management

When do I get my certificate?

You will receive your certificate in the mail within 15-20 days from the date of the exam. You must achieve a grade of 70% or higher to get your certificate. In the mail, you will receive a letter stating your grade, a wallet sized certificate and letter sized certificate.

What if I don’t pass the exam?

If you don’t pass your exam, it is recommended you take some time to review the course content again before you book another exam. You don’t have to take the course again. If you need help writing your exam (e.g. reading exam), please let us know.

What if the dates and times don’t work with my schedule?

We understand that our schedule may not work for everyone.

We do offer the in-class course and exams at three different locations as well as the online course. We also offer private courses and exams. You can also look into other approved providers who offer Food Handler Training (See “Can I get food handler training from another provider?”).

How do I book a private course and exam?

You can book a private course and exam if you’re an employer or organization who has more than 10 staff who need food handler training. We can hold a private course and exam at your facility. You can call 519-258-2146 ext. 1474 to book your private course and exam.

Is my food handler certificate valid if it’s from another provider?

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will only accept outside food handling training certificates from a provider that has been approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Check their website for a list of approved food handling training providers that we accept. We also accept food handler training certificates from other Ontario Public Health Units.

Can I get food handler training from another provider?

Yes, you can get food handler training from another provider if they have been approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Check their website for a list of approved food handling training providers that we accept.

We also accept food handler training certificates from other Ontario Public Health Units.

If my certificate is expired, do I need to take the full course again?

No, you don’t need to take the full food handler course if your certificate expired.

We do recommend that you take the two hour re-certification course to review food safety content before taking the exam. If you feel confident with your current knowledge, you may challenge the exam.