Province removing red tape for entrepreneurs who sell home-prepared food


The Ontario government is providing support for entrepreneurs who sell low-risk, home-prepared foods by enacting more flexible regulations.

Additionally, the province says it’s supporting such businesses in the form of a guide on how to start a home-based food business--which includes an overview of public health requirements that need to be followed as a food operator.

“For many local entrepreneurs, they start with a love of food and a cherished family recipe, whether it’s grandma’s apple pie or that new take on homegrown pickles, jams, and preserves, and try and turn their passion into a successful business,” Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, said in a news release.

“Our government applauds them for their vision and effort and we are doing everything we can to help them seize new opportunities without compromising Ontario’s high standards for food safety," he continued.

Low-risk foods are considered non-hazardous and do not require refrigeration, such as baked goods, pickles, jams and preserves, chocolates, hard candies and brittles, fudge and toffees, granola, trail mix, nuts and seeds, and coffee beans and tea leaves, among others.

Further, all food premises, including home-based food businesses, must adhere to requirements under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) and the Food Premises Regulation, as well as periodic inspections by their local public health unit.

“Starting a home-based food business is an excellent opportunity for people across Ontario to share their culinary creativity, build a business for themselves and be part of the province’s agri-food sector,” Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said in the same release.

“Our government is committed to encouraging this growing part of the economy and to support all the good things that are grown and produced right here in Ontario," he continued.

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