Food establishments

What is a food establishment?

A food establishment is any building or premises where foodstuff is stored, transported, prepared, sold, served, or otherwise handled. Establishments that produce materials that are used in contact with foodstuff (such as disposable cutlery) are also considered food establishments.

Homes and online stores where foodstuff is being prepared professionally are also food establishments.

Notifying authorities about a food establishment

You must notify your local health inspector at least four weeks prior to starting a new food establishment. You must also send a notification in the case of a significant change in your operations or when ending an establishment. The establishment may begin operating as soon as the legislative requirements are met. The first inspection will take place after the commencement of operations.

You may have to contact other authorities as well, such as the fire safety officer or building inspector.

Food establishments exempt from making a notification

You do not need to send a notification if the operational risks are low in terms of food safety, and if:

  • the food operations take place in the same premises as the operator’s other business (such as serving coffee at a hair salon)
  • it is a private operation
  • the operation is not a business or a source of livelihood (such as a school bakesale)

Pop-up restaurants

Pop-up restaurants are allowed to operate for up to 12 days a year, after which they must report their operations as a food establishment.

Low-risk operations

You must always notify authorities when operating professionally, even if the food safety risks are low.

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