Prince Edward Island Food Safety Regulations
All restaurants, food service establishments and food businesses in Prince Edward Island (PEI) are subject to food safety laws which have been enacted in order to ensure that all food produced and sold within PEI is safe for human consumption. PEI’s food safety regulations have been drafted to reduce the risk of food contamination and set the minimum standards to be adhered to by all food premises, mitigating risk and ensuring that safe food can be enjoyed by all.
Failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to financial penalties for each day of the offence incurred by both individuals and corporations, mandatory shutdowns and product recalls, and major damage to brand and personal image.
Food safety laws in Prince Edward Island
The province of PEI has enacted one major food premises regulation which legislates food safety in all food businesses. These laws are overseen by the province’s public health inspectors, who have the authority to enter into businesses at any reasonable time, test food products for contamination, inspect equipment, storage and preparation areas, and in the event that they find evidence of violations, order mandatory food recalls, suspend your licence to operate, close your business, and issue fines and official warnings.
In order to avoid these harsh penalties, food businesses in PEI are expected to follow the province’s food safety regulations, including:
PEI’s Food Premises Regulations apply to all food premises with the exception of bed and breakfast businesses, food banks, catering operations where food is prepared in a private residence for consumption of occupants and guests, meat plants registered and operated under the Meat Inspection Act, the Food and Drugs Act or the Slaughter House Regulations, and group homes, transition houses, boarding homes and men’s and women’s shelters among other exempted business types.
Public Health Act Food Premises Regulations
The Food Premises Regulations outline the requirement for all food premises in Prince Edward Island to hold valid licences, to report any changes to the Minister as soon as possible, to display the licence in an area where it is easily viewable by members of the public, and to renew license in order to keep them current. Licences can be suspended by the Minister at any time if evidence of food safety violations are found, meaning that licence holders would be required to immediately cease operations and not commence operations until they’ve been authorized to do so by a public health official.
The Regulations also outline the standards which licence holders must ensure that food premises meet, including having a consistent supply of potable hot and cold water, adequate design to ensure safe food handling, provide effective lighting and ventilation, offer protection from pests, and be designed with safe food storage facilities which are separate from living quarters or areas where activities are carried out which are incompatible with safe food handling. This section also includes regulations about equipment, washroom facilities, maintenance, cleaning and sanitation.
Under the Regulations, all staff members are required to maintain good personal hygiene, including coming to work clean, wearing hair coverings or beard restraints if appropriate, wearing clean uniforms, being free of any communicable disease, abrasions or skin conditions that could contaminate food, and refrain from any behaviours or practices which could contaminate food.
In terms of food processing requirements, PEI food businesses must only use food from approved sources, prepare food in a manner which makes it safe to eat, and meet safe temperature requirements and use appropriate measuring devices to ensure proper temperatures are met. By request of the Director or Minister, establishments may be required to develop and implement food safety management systems to mitigate risk, retain records relevant to these systems, and establish a written recall plan to ensure the timely recall of potentially contaminated or hazardous food products.
In order to verify food safety, inspectors can take samples and tests of food products, and, upon evidence of violations, seize or detain food products, issue fines, or order the closure of an establishment until appropriate measures are taken to ensure food safety.
Food handler certification requirements in Prince Edward Island
As stated by the Prince Edward Island Food Premises Regulations, all licence holders are required to successfully complete a food hygiene training program. When licensees are absent from the food premises, they are responsible for ensuring that at least one employee with valid food hygiene training certification is on premises when food is being prepared or processed.
Licence holders and certified employees are expected to complete these food safety certification training programs at least once every five years to ensure that certification is always current and valid. Proof of certification is to be posted in a location in the food premises which is easily accessible to public health officials.
With the Regulations making it clear that all food premises in Prince Edward Island must have employees with proper food hygiene certification, there’s no excuse not to have your entire workforce certified. This ensures that your business is protected in the event of unexpected leaves of absences, no-shows or sick calls, allowing you to be prepared anytime a public health official visits your premises.
For the most engaging and flexible food handler certification training, choose Managing Food Safety. Our online food safety training programs use industry-relevant case studies and scenarios that are engaging and fully customizable, as well as visual elements which transcend language barriers, and a flexible online delivery method which allows learners to become certified at their own pace. Once the certification exam has been successfully completed, your food handlers will be given a digital certificate which can be conveniently presented to public health officials at any time.
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