Opening a Food Business

At the Halton Region Small Business Centre we meet a lot of people who are interested in restuarant imagestarted a food business. The food industry is very highly regulated and because of that there are many factors that need to be considered.  Below is a list of information that you may find helpful when starting your own food business.


  • The Regional Municipality of Halton offers food safety education and certification programs. The food handler course became mandatory on December 14, 2011. You can find out more information about the course at

 Food Safety Inspections:

  • Food safety inspections are conducted in food premises in Halton to reduce the possibility of foodborne illness and to educate food services staff about food handling practices and basic sanitation requirements. For more information about food safety inspections click here.

Ontario Food Premises Regulation

  • Food premises must comply with the Ontario Food Premise Regulation. There are guidelines that provide basic information that you will need to obtain Halton Region Health Department approval for your proposed food premises. Click here for more information about food premise regulations and requirements.

Regulatory requirements:

  • Other things to consider before starting a food based business are the regulatory requirements. Check out to see what the federal, provincial and municipal regulations are that are specific to the type of food handling business you are opening.

Food or allergen labeling for safety regulations:

  • Labelling is a way of communicating to the consumer your product information.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed a labelling tool that acts as the food labelling reference for all food inspectors and stakeholders in Canada.

Importing food into Canada:

  • Food safety standards apply to all foods sold in Canada. To learn more about The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and their risk-based import inspection programs, you can visit their website.

If you are going to open a food based business contact The Regional Municipality of Halton – Region Food Safety department directly to find out what you need to know so you can make the right choices. If you are thinking about opening a home or commercial based food businesses do your homework and find out the rules and regulations. If you are going to rent a location make sure the inspection is up to date.

Additional Information:

Food inspection programs are also available through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. They also have a report of food safety violations. For more information visit their website at

  • To protect Canadian families from potentially unsafe food, The Government of Canada has developed and launched the Safe Food For Canadians ActVisit their website to learn more.

The Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help you. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at, by email at or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.



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