watermelon Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 3:48am
post #1 of

Hi Everyone,

Here is a copy of the Health Protection and Promotion Act web page for food premises in Ontario. A Health Inspector from my Region provided me with this website. She said that these laws apply to all of Ontario. It took a while for me to get an answer about opening a home bakery (which I would love to do) so I thought I would post this and save some of my fellow Ontario bakers some time researching this topic.

The Health Inspector also said (as others have mentioned on CC) that my home would have to be zoned and pass health and fire inspections.

www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900562_e.htm


PART II
ESTABLISHMENT

Exemptions

2. (1) This Regulation applies to all food premises except,

(a) boarding houses that provide meals for fewer than ten boarders;

(b) a food premise to which Regulation 554 or 568 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 applies;

(c) food premises owned, operated or leased by religious organizations, service clubs and fraternal organizations where the religious organization, service club or fraternal organization,

(i) prepares and serves meals for special events, and

(ii) conducts bake sales; and

(d) farmers market food vendors. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 562, s. 2 (1); O. Reg. 308/06, s. 2 (1).

(2) No person shall operate or maintain a food premise to which this Regulation applies except in accordance with this Regulation. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 562, s. 2 (2); O. Reg. 586/99, s. 1.

86 replies
kaat Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:21pm
post #2 of

Thanks for the info!

sweetcravings Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:31pm
post #3 of

Hmmm the link didn't work.

cashley Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:32pm
post #4 of

Your link says service unavailable can you make sure that the link is correct. Their site might be down but just checking .. thanks

mandice Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:33pm
post #5 of

thank you!!! icon_biggrin.gif

watermelon Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:45pm
post #6 of

Hi Everyone, Not sure why the website is down right now (sorry) as I viewed it last night. Anyway you could try typing "Health and Protection Act + Ontario" as a web search. That may work or try the link later today as it should be working.

cashley Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:54pm
post #7 of

It is funny that when I researched this in my city they told me I did not need a license to operate in my house. Everything that I had been told each city had its own regulations. I will be very interested to read what this has to say. I don't sell cakes from home as of yet but may so in the future.

terri-jo Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:55pm
post #8 of

Thanks for taking the time to post this. I wasn't able to see the page, but I'll check back later. I've recently been baking out of the kitchen at my church, but I'd love to be able to do it from home. What's the jist? Can we or can't we?

T

Goonergirl Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:58pm
post #9 of

I've been searching for this information for quite a while now. I hope the link eventually works. Thanks for sharing!

mandice Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 3:05pm

i tried getting some info from cakescanada, thinking that they'd be able to be more specific, but really didn't get as much info as our US friends are willing to share with each other.. i wonder why? icon_sad.gif

i too want to eventually sell from home, but where to start, i dont even know. let's keep each other updated when we find info? icon_biggrin.gif

there's this:
http://www.canadabusiness.ca/servlet/ContentServer?cid=1085679426135〈=en&pagename=CBSC_ON%2Fdisplay&c=GuideHowto#1._Basics_to_Getting_Started

but that's for restaurant and catering.. haven't had time to read through the entire thing (im at work lol) but i can't help but feel that may not have anything to do with working out of your home.. lol

but maybe through reading it it will lead to home business? i dunno.. i can't really go through it right now lol

CookiezNCupcakez Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 3:07pm

I'm in Peel region and was told we are not allowed to bake and sell from home..however the woman I spoke to seemed a 'lil confused...I"M CONFUSED everyone I talk to has no clue. My BFF baked and sold from home for years and so did her mother and now the BFF has her own bakery, when I asked her about it she really had no idea?!
So can we or can we not?
I can't get this link to work icon_confused.gif

Goonergirl Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 3:27pm

I make caramel apples and candy apples to sell at events (like Canada Day in our small town), and I have to apply for a "special occasions food permit" from my local health unit everytime. I enquired once about legalizing my kitchen so that I wouldn't have to apply everytime, and the health inspector didn't seem to have any information/didn't seem very concerned.

sweetcravings Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 3:59pm

When i had inquired about it with my township they said..yup no problem as long as you don't break the zoning bylaws..large signs, noise etc...Then i called my health unit and spoke with inspectors two different times, and got two different answers. The first said, no way is it allowed to run a food business out of the home. You must have a licensed kitchen, and this is not permitted in homes. The next guy said, sure go ahead. We NEVER go into people's homes for this sort of thing and bakery stuff is low risk. He said you can make a profitable business out of it. Yet as soon as you sell it retail (should've got verification on that) then it would be their business. I figured that meant selling to shops, farmers markets etc.. He also said he has NEVER gotten a complaint on a home bakery business.
So very confusing, different responses.

cashley Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:06pm

When I inquired they said that no home business needs a license as long as you don't need a professional license to do your business ie: plumber, electrician. I can't get straight answers either.

pastryjen Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:13pm

I spoke to York Region Health people and he said sure...as long as there was a full separate closed off kitchen that meets certain standards to be used only for the business. They really don't want anyone doing it.

My town does allow home businesses in my area.

cakes22 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:22pm

here is what I was told: my kitchen would no way meet the standards or guidelines set by Ottawa health inspectors, as I needed to have a seperate sink, seperater refrigeration, seperate food storage + none of my home items (bowls, cupboards etc) could be used for the business everything had to be seperate. I was also told that if I didn't advertise the fact that I was selling cakes (to friends & families) they weren't going to hunt me down. That being said, it leaves me in a tight spot as I can't buy wholesale, have a vendors permit, go to cake/wedding shows, deal with hotels or wedding organisers or have contacts withing the business community. Right now, everything I have done & sold has been thru friends and family.
Very frustrating. icon_mad.gif

janebrophy Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:32pm

I live near Brockville, ON, and sell cakes from my home. Not many cakes, but I do sell them. I have spoken with my area health inspector who has told me that bakery products from home kitchens are not regulated by the health unit. I have also inquired about catering (since I plan to cater as well) and was told that as long as the party has invited guests and is not just open to the public, that I could cook anywhere I wanted to. Scary, but true.
I was told a couple of years ago that there were plans underway to regulate baking from home, but it still is not in effect according to the HI I spoke with this Summer.

Goonergirl Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:05pm

I think the key words here are "low-risk foods". That's a phrase I heard a lot from the inspector I spoke with. He was more concerned that I might also be cooking hamburgers!

CookiezNCupcakez Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:11pm

yes hamburgers could be very scary!
I'm still confused... icon_confused.gif

Goonergirl Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:19pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugardivine

yes hamburgers could be very scary!
I'm still confused... icon_confused.gif




icon_lol.gif I guess he was thinking that I might be selling high risk food like hamburgers and meat, (at our Canada Day festivities) and it might be undercooked or whatever, and get people sick?

mandice Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:39pm

Can we all also post where in ON we are as we find out info? lol
I'm in Toronto/Thornhill (aka Vaughan/York Region)

I mean, sure, it's obvious everyone's already getting mixed information, but it may help to know in case we ever get a real solid answer from someone who knows what they're talking about icon_biggrin.gif

cakes22, when you say "as long as i dont advertise".. what happens if your friends and families are the ones doing it? all my 'orders' are from friends or family or friends of friends or family... lol
i mean, it's not as if i hunt down newly engaged couples and ask them if they want a cake, other people are the ones hunting me down.

bahhh.. i just wish there were people who could give us rock solid information.. do you guys think that if we maybe contacted the food network someone could point us in the right direction?

CookiezNCupcakez Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 5:56pm

just a thought.. perhaps if we can't get any info about this that there is no info to get! icon_confused.gif

cakes22 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:02pm

I'm in Ottawa & I think the problem with here is that when we amalgalmated (spelling???) into one city, the regulations got all mixed & we are getting different info from different people and being in the goverment city, it's impossible to get a straight answer!

Mandice: Well, I can't control what others do icon_rolleyes.gif ! I've gotten all my business that way......like that old shampoo commerical "And she told two friends and so on and so on"

It would be nice to have what our friends in the states have. I am currently looking into renting a community kitchen (city approved, of course).

watermelon Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:14pm

Here's the link again. I was just able to see the site. Hope it works.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900562_e.htm

It's all very confusing

It would be great if we could get some solid answers and specific guidelines for Home Baking Businesses.

I'm in Newmarket (Which is York Region)

sweetcravings Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:38pm

cakes22..This is where i'm confused...My understanding is that you can buy a business license pretty easily, just pay a fee and viola....well.....once you become a registered business isn't the health unit notified and then you are checked out? So although it's pretty easy to get the license, it comes with alot of headache. It would be sooo nice to get things wholesale without alerting the health unit to your home. Maybe i'm misunderstanding the whole thing, i dunno.

I have search hours online trying to find specifics as to what are the exact guidelines and have found nothing all that helpful. I've found stuff on labelling etc.. but not what the rules are with home food businesses..Perhaps it just simply is not there like sugardivine states. Frustrating.

sweetcravings Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:41pm

watermellon...the llink worked..but...where does it specifically talk about bakery stuff, like cakes/cookies? Perhaps i'm overlooking it.

cakes22 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 6:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcravings

cakes22..This is where i'm confused...My understanding is that you can buy a business license pretty easily, just pay a fee and viola....well.....once you become a registered business isn't the health unit notified and then you are checked out? So although it's pretty easy to get the license, it comes with alot of headache. It would be sooo nice to get things wholesale without alerting the health unit to your home. Maybe i'm misunderstanding the whole thing, i dunno.

I have search hours online trying to find specifics as to what are the exact guidelines and have found nothing all that helpful. I've found stuff on labelling etc.. but not what the rules are with home food businesses..Perhaps it just simply is not there like sugardivine states. Frustrating.





No problem getting the license,but flags are raised when food is involved. I researched from the begining, did a business name search, got the info on how to apply for a license etc. The more research I did within Ottawa (the city, not the government), the more I found out about how it is NOT legal to sell baked good from home. The HI I spoke to was very nice and very helpful. She said not to get a business number cause that would open up a whole can of worms regarding health regulations & food labeling. Also she told me that if any one got sick for whatever reason because of my products I would liable, which then inturns gets insurance involved. I asked "Well, what about all those bake sales?" They are exempt. "What if I do my food safety handling course?" Doesn't matter, your kitchen will not meet the HI standards, we won't even send someone to your home just to humour you. I would rather do things the right way than be in crap later on, and not be able to do cakes at all. I'm small potatos compared to others & I'm taking the advice of the HI and not advertising. I'm sure the HI have bigger fish to fry than hunting down lil'old me!!

cakes22 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 7:09pm

another helpful website is the ontario goverment website.
http://www.ontario.ca/en/communities/entrepreneurs/index.htm?openNav=businesses

Also, when you fill out the forms for the Business license, you have to be specific as to what you are doing. You can download the license app.form (pdf).
http://www.bdc-canada.com/BDC/Corporate/Business_Registration_ON.htm

cakes22 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 7:35pm

here is what I would have to fill out in Ottawa. not a big deal until you get to the bottom.......eeeeeek icon_cry.gif
http://www.ottawa.ca/business/licences/business_licencing_en.html
(click on the pdf link)

pastryjen Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 8:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by watermelon

I'm in Newmarket (Which is York Region)




Me too, Neighbour!

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