If you have questions about Special Events, please contact the Environmental Health Team at:
What should you do during a special event?
Food vendors must make sure they are set up as required under the Ontario Food Premises Regulation (O. Reg. 493/17)1 before any food is prepared. Please be aware that requirements from other agencies also need to be met (e.g. Fire Department, TSSA, municipality, AGCO).
- Food must be from an approved source.
- Food must be prepared in an inspected kitchen or on-site.
- No home prepared foods.
Handwashing / Food Handler
- A handwashing station must be available in the food preparation / food handling area. This should be set up before any food handling begins.
- Handwashing stations must have:
- A supply of hot and cold (or a mixture of warm) potable water under pressure
- Liquid soap in a dispenser, AND
- Paper towel.
- Food handlers must wear clean clothes and ensure food is not contaminated by hair.
- Food handlers who are experiencing symptoms (such as vomiting, diarrhea or coughing) should not be on-site.
Keep potentially hazardous food at safe temperatures
- Ensure food temperatures are maintained during transportation.
- Have enough refrigerators or coolers to maintain cold foods at 4oC (40oF) or less.
- Have enough hot holding units to maintain hot foods at 60oC (140oF) or higher.
- Have thermometers on-site to check the temperatures of foods and the temperatures of all cold and hot holding units.
Protect food from contamination
- Raw and ready-to-eat food products must be fully separated to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store all food off the floor / ground. Raise foods on tables, shelves or pallets.
- Make sure all food is covered and is stored in food grade containers or packaging.
- Have enough utensils to use separate utensils for raw and ready-to-eat foods.
- Where reusable plates or containers are provided by the patrons, food handlers must ensure that there is no direct contact between the serving utensils and the plates or must wash, rinse and sanitize the serving utensil(s) after each patron (e.g. dishwashing after contact with patron’s plate).
Keep the food preparation area clean and sanitary
- All utensils and equipment must be:
- Washed: in warm water with dish soap
- Rinsed: in warm water, AND
- Sanitized: with an approved sanitizer for 45 seconds.
- Dishwashing at an inspected kitchen is permitted (provide enough clean utensils to last the entire day).
- Single use (disposable) containers must be used for service or sale of foods, unless appropriate dishwashing is available.
- Approved sanitizers:
- Chlorine at 100 ppm
- Quaternary Ammonium at 200 ppm
- Iodine at 25 ppm
- Other sanitizing agents may be approved. Speak to a Public Health Inspector at the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
- Provide test strips or reagent to measure the strength of the sanitizer being used on-site.
- Dispose of garbage in a clean manner.
- Dispose of waste water in a clean manner. Do not dispose of waste water on the ground or into a sewer.
Please note: If the requirements for special events are not met, a food vendor may be ordered to close or get a ticket (offence notice).
Special Event Operators shall ensure all attendees are adhering to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017. The obligation to ensure compliance of staff, volunteers, vendors, and patrons falls on the proprietor. Visit MLHU's Tobacco & Vapour Products - The Law or Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces to learn more. Please contact the Smoke-Free Information Line with any questions:
All vendors involved in providing personal services to the public must comply with the following requirements:
All animal exhibitors should:
- Notify the Middlesex-London Health Unit by email before the event and provide contact information that is valid for at least 30 days following the event.
- Be familiar with and follow the recommendations in the Ministry of Health and Long-Terms Care’s Recommendations to Prevent Disease and Injury Associated with Petting Zoos in Ontario (PDF 763KB).
- Report any animal bite or scratch experienced by a person to the Middlesex-London Health Unit by calling 519-663-5317.
For more information about special events, please contact a Public Health Inspector on the Environmental Health Team at: