Certified Food Handler Training

Please note: Beginning March 1, 2020, Ottawa Public Health will no longer be providing food handler certification training. In-class training will be available through Algonquin College and other providers recognized by the Ministry of Health.
Visit Algonquin College's website for food handler training course information.

Visit the Ministry of Health website for a list of approved food handler training and certification courses.

Food Handler Certification is an excellent opportunity to learn the safe way to prepare food. Whether you operate a restaurant, take-out, catering, or mobile food premises, or are working directly with high-risk groups such as children and the elderly, the course is designed to meet the needs of the retail food industry, as well as customers. As per Ontario Regulation 493/17, every operator of a food service premise shall ensure that there is at least one food handler or supervisor on the premise who has completed food handler training during every hour in which the premise is operating.

Visit Algonquin College's website for food handler training course information. 

Ministry of Health Approved Options (including online options) 

In addition to in-class training offered through Algonquin College, the Ministry of Health has a list of recognized in-class and online training programs that meet provincial requirements. You may also consider an online program called "In Good Hands.” OPH will accept certifications issued by these providers, as well as those issued from any other health unit/authority in Ontario or Canada. 

Visit the Ministry of Health website for a list of approved food handler training and certification courses.


In-class - Ottawa Public Health

Ottawa Public Health in Class Course Features

This certificate-based course is designed to meet the content requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Gives participants a strong knowledge of:

  • The Role of the Health Unit and Understanding Foodborne Illness
  • Understanding Bacteria
  • Preventing Foodborne Illness
  • Personal Hygiene, Sanitation, Pest control
  • Emergency Response

***No refreshments or food provided, please bring your own***


  • 100 Constellation Dr. Jaguar Room: Tuesdays, 8:30 am to 4 pm

2020 Dates

Program Code

February 25 1524990
Exam only

Alert: Candidates that would like to challenge the Food Handler Certification Exam must show proof of completion from one of the criteria listed below, within the last year:

  • Algonquin College Food Handler Course - Re-challenging the exam
  • Ottawa Public Health Food Handler Course - Re-challenging the exam
  • Food Safety Training - via: high school, college, university education
  • Completion of any of the approved Ministry of Health recognized programs
  • Completion of the "In Good Hands" on-line course  
  • If you are a professionally-trained Chef with the appropriate credentials, you may also be eligible to challenge the exam.

Registration process for Exam Only Sessions

  1. Register online: You will need to enter the barcode or program code for the date you wish to attend. Have your credit card number and expiry date ready (Visa or MasterCard). You will need your Family PIN number and Client Barcode. 
  2. In person: Visit a city of Ottawa Client Service Centre. Payments accepted by cash, cheque (made payable to the City of Ottawa), debit or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Sign-in or create an account through the City of Ottawa Recreation Programs.

2020 Exam Only Sessions




Program Code


February 27 Thursday 3 – 4:30 pm 1525227 Mustang
March 09 Monday 9 – 10:30 am 1525218 Mustang
March 26 Thursday 3 – 4:30 pm 1525229 Mustang
April 06 Monday 9 – 10:30 am 1525219 Mustang
April 23 Thursday 3 – 4:30 pm 1525230 Mustang
May 04 Monday 9 – 10:30 am 1525220 Mustang
May 28 Thursday 3 – 4:30 pm 1525234 Mustang
June 08 Monday 9 – 10:30 am 1525222 Mustang
June 18 Thursday 3 – 4:30 pm 1525236 Mustang

Re-certification may be available to those who are currently certified by :

  • any Ontario Public Health Unit;
  • an approved course by the Ministry of Health
  • any Public Health Agency from Canadian provinces and territories

Individuals meeting the above criteria may be eligible to challenge the food handler training exam. Proof of certification is required prior to re-challenging the exam. Individuals who are unable to provide satisfactory proof of certification will not be allowed to challenge the exam.

You have one calendar year from the day of your certification expiry date to re-challenge the exam. For example, if your certification expires on June 14, 2020, you can re-challenge the exam up to June 14, 2021.

If an individual meets the criteria to challenge the food handler training exam, you can attend any of the regularly scheduled Food Handler Certification Exam Only Sessions.

  • Exam-only sessions: $16.85 (tax included) - Please check offered dates.
  • Re-certification: $16.85 (tax included) - Please check offered dates.
  • Re-issuing of a misplaced certificate: $16.85 (tax included). Email foodhandlercertifica@ottawa.ca and provide your first and last name and telephone number where you can be reached.
  • Non-Residents Fee: As per City of Ottawa policy, non-residents will be charged an additional 25 % per person.
  • Seniors’ Discount: City of Ottawa residents who are 65 years of age receive the seniors’ discount of 10 per cent.
  • Withdrawals/Credits: - For withdrawals or a credit on your account visit a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre. Please be advisesd, course fees are non refundable and non transferable to other participants.

French Food Handler Certification Schedule

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