Food Safety

Food Safety Requirements:

High Risk

  • High-risk foods are more likely to cause foodborne illness
  • The more the food is handled, the more likely bacteria growth will take place
  • Some foods are always high-risk (e.g. uncooked meat and eggs) and other foods become high-risk because of how they are prepared or served
  • SNPs that serve any high-risk foods must have at least one person trained/certified in safe food handling
  • The trained person must be in the building when the food is prepared and served

Low Risk

  • Low-risk food is food in a form or state that cannot grow micro-organisms that can cause illness
  • Ready-to-eat food is food that requires no preparation prior to eating
  • Prepackaged food is food that is packaged at a location other than where it is consumed
  • SNPs that serve only low-risk and ready-to-eat, pre-packaged foods do not need to have someone trained/certified in safe food handling on site

Safe Food
Handling Tips

Ensure at least one member of your team has completed the Food Handlers Certification

  • Hand washing is required before handling any food item. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not a replacement for hand washing
  • Wear gloves if you have a cut or burn on your hands, artificial nails or rings that can’t be removed
  • Companies that handle food must be inspected to ensure that the food they sell is safe, do not offer food prepared in someone’s home
  • Only use cans that are free from rust and dents and are not leaking or swollen
  • Do not offer vegetables and fruits that are partly spoiled
  • Make sure food is not mouldy or stale
  • Write the date on all foods when you get them
  • Seal packages after they are opened
  • If a food is close to its best before date, freeze it so that you can use it later
  • Clean and sanitize sinks, work surfaces and eating surfaces with hot, soapy water, rinse and let air dry. Once dry, spray sanitizing solution and let air dry
    • Prepare your own sanitizer with bleach (100 ppm) or quaternary ammonium (200 ppm) to the proper concentration. Rinse with water. Please consult your Board’s health and safety representative for which products are approved for use in your school
  • Keep cleaning supplies and other chemicals away from food and away from students
  • SNPs serving low-risk or ready-to-eat, prepackaged foods may use a domestic dishwasher or the two-sink or three-sink method for cleaning and sanitizing utensils and dishes, those serving high-risk foods require an industrial dishwasher
  • If there is not a separate sink for hand washing, then make sure the sink is cleaned and sanitized before dish-washing

Produce Prep Tips

Aim to fund raise 15% of your total grant allocation to sustain a vibrant program

  • Immediately refrigerate vegetables and fruits that require refrigeration
  • Keep vegetables and fruits separate from meat, poultry, seafood and their juices in the refrigerator
  • Wash fresh vegetables and fruits thoroughly under cool running water to prevent the spread of bacteria. Many others have handled the produce before you purchased/received it. let air dry on paper towels before serving
  • Use a clean produce brush to scrub produce with firm surfaces, commercial produce cleansers are not necessary
  • Remove bruised or damaged areas on vegetables and fruits. Clean knife with hot water and soap before reusing it
  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat products

Learn More

  • Ontario Public Health Units:
  • Food Safety (OMAFRA):
  • CanadaGAP:
  • Safe Quality Food Institute:

Student Nutrition Programs (SNPs) are food premises and must comply with Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17

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