Entrepreneurs/Self-employed

Common Questions

What do I need to know about serving food?

The service of food to the public is governed by the Food Regulation.  The Food Regulation governs "Commercial Food Establishments", "Farmers' Markets", Temporary Food Establishments that operate at "Special Events", "Community Organization Functions" and "Bed and Breakfasts".

The Food Regulation does not govern potluck suppers/events. A "potluck" is defined as a gathering of individuals where some or all of the attendees at the gathering bring food to be shared with the other attendees and there is no cost to attend the gathering. (Examples are church suppers and neighbourhood block parties).

Commercial Food Establishments are required to have a Food Handling Permit and abide by both the Food Regulation and the Food Code.  More information and in some case courses are offered through the Regional Health Authorities to help establishments meet the standards. 

Bed and Breakfasts are required to have a Food Handling Permit, but are exempt from permit fees.

The operator of a Farmers' Market are required to have a Farmers' Market Permit.

Temporary Food Establishments that operate at Special Events and Community Organization Functions do not require a permit, however, there are specific requirements in the Regulation that govern.

The Regional Health Authorities are responsible for administering the Food Regulation and the Food Code. The RHAS also issue the permits that are required.

Specific questions regarding the Food Regulation, including what constitutes a Special Event or a Community Organization Function, and the requirements of the Regulation regarding these functions, should be discussed with the Regional Health Authority .