These guidelines (below) are useful to operators of food facilities, who have the responsibility to ensure that food served to the public is safe (Part 2 of Food Safety Act). Every operator must also have written food handling and sanitation procedures to ensure no health hazards occur at their premises (Division 6 of Food Premises Regulation)
Food safety training is a requirement of the Food Premises Regulation. In BC, the FOODSAFE Level 1 course or its equivalent is recognized as meeting this requirement. The local Health Authority administers the FOODSAFE education program in their region.
List of equivalent FOODSAFE Level 1 courses.
For information on the FOODSAFE course equivalency process, contact Food Protection.
BCCDC Environmental Health Services provides policy and scientific advice to the local Health Authorities and public. One way this is done is by developing guidelines and food safety information that are used as a basis for programs administered by the Health Authorities.
- NEW! JUNE 2015. Guidelines for Food Distribution Organizations with Grocery or Meal Programs. This guideline replaces and updates the Food Bank and Soup Kitchen guidelines. New materials include relationships with food donors, volunteers and other FDOs, liability issues for FDOs, providing nutritious as well as safe foods. Visit the food security page for example MOU agreements, and flow-charts to evaluate frozen, refrigerated and boxed foods.
- Guidelines for restaurant sous vide cooking safety in British Columbia. This comprehensive guideline was created by a working group of Chefs and EHOs. It examines sous vide style cooking safety and provides sous vide food flow charts, food safety plan requirements and best practices for sous vide style cooking.
One pg handout for sous vide style cooking requirements. Interested in starting sous vide? This will outline the public health requirements for your premise.
Video training presentation on sous vide safety. Presented to BC Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.
- Guidelines for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Markets
Temporary markets such as farmers markets sell many items in addition to fresh produce. These guidelines provides recommendations for the preparation and display of food intended for sale at temporary food markets.
- Guideline for Mechanical Warewashing in Food Service Establishments
Specifications for commercial dishwashers, such as temperature requirements and sanitizer concentrations to meet food safety standards (specifically, Section 17 of the Food Premises Regulation) are outlined in this guideline.
- Guideline for the Safe Preparation and Serving of Donairs, Shawarmas and Similar Products
There have been at least 4 documented E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks associated with the consumption of donairs in Canada since 2004. This guideline identifies procedures required to ensure that donairs are prepared safely and explains the secondary cooking process and temperatures specified for donair cones.
- Guidelines for the Safe Transport of Carcasses, Poultry and Meat Products
An important aspect of ensuring meat is safe to consume is how meat is transported after the slaughterhouse. This applies to anyone who handles, transports, distributes and stores meat products and carcasses destined for public sale and human consumption. This includes owners and operators of food premises, such as licensed slaughter facilities, butcher shops, food retailers and those who transport meat products to any of these facilities. A guideline has been developed that provides guidance for the safe transportation for carcasses, poultry and meat products.
- Guidelines for Cutting and Wrapping Un-inspected Meat
This document provides guidance to approved food premises (e.g., butcher shops) that provide cut-and-wrap services for un-inspected meat and/or game. Following this guideline should result in compliance with the general sanitation provisions of the Food Premises Regulation. The final outcome of this guideline is to ensure that un-inspected meat in BC is not contaminated.
- Guidelines for Donation of Culled Game Meat
These standards apply to situations in which wild ungulates are culled for management purposes and the meat is subsequently made available through a donation system. The high protein and low fat meat obtained from game animals, can greatly increase the dietary diversity and nutrition of economically disadvantaged recipients. The benefits of donating wild game meat in these circumstances can outweigh any disadvantages or costs such a program may entail. All meat derived from these culls must be processed by approved facilities and must be donated to individuals or families for their personal consumption only, or to food distribution organizations.
- Food Protection - Vital to Your Business
This publication covers planning a food business, getting and keeping an operating permit, ensuring safe food supplies, storing and displaying food, preparing, cooking, serving and dispensing food, illnesses and how to prevent them, cleaning and storing dishes and utensils, maintaining equipment, maintaining a food business, operating vending machines and information on the FoodSafe Training Program.
- Ensuring Food Safety - Writing Your Own Food Safety Plan - The HACCP Way
Food safety does not happen by accident. To prepare safe food, you must follow certain steps and procedures throughout the entire food preparation process. You have to think, and you have to pay attention to how you prepare food, to make sure it is safe. This is the basis for developing your own Food Safety Plan. A basic Food Safety Plan uses the "HACCP" method.
- Food Premises Operating Permits and Fees Guidelines
This guideline has been developed to assist Health Authorities in interpreting legislation and policy regarding the application of fees to operation of premises, in accordance with the Health Act Fees Regulation.
- Translated into Simple Chinese - Food Protection - Vital to Your Business
- Translated into Traditional Chinese - Food Protection - Vital to Your Business
- Translated into Punjabi - Food Protection - Vital to Your Business
- Translated into Chinese - Ensuring Food Safety - Writing Your Own Food Safety Plan - The HACCP Way
- Translated into Punjabi - Ensuring Food Safety - Writing Your Own Food Safety Plan - The HACCP Way
The following table lists a variety of food related issues that we have consulted on in the past. These Notes from the Field represent the evidence and recommendations we've provided on these issues.
The information on these pages represent the work we do on behalf of the public, industry and government. Some of this information was written for the general public and some was written in technical language for public health.
Food Issue (click on title to open PDF file)
Description of Issue
|Bakery couche (linen)
||Use of unwashed linen for proofing of breads in a commercial bakery
||Evaluate safety of infused (alcoholic) bitters
||Evaluate harvest, processing, packaging of seaweed (bull kelp)
||Evaluate safety and toxicity of this additive
||Use of commercially sourced chocolate in baked and molded chocolate desserts
|FM raw carob home prepared
||Manufacture of raw carob or cocoa chocolate desserts from raw ingredients prepared at home
|FM raw carob commercially purchased
||Manufacture of raw carob or cocoa chocolate desserts with commerically purchased raw carob/chocolate powder
|FM sunflower and flax seed oil
||Manufacture of flax seed oil using a piteba oil screw press
|Freezing for parasite destruction
||Evaluate sushi products such as imported flounder and lobster - is freezing for parasite destruction needed?
|Histamine risk in tuna
||Evaluate histamine risks of sous-vide cooking of tuna, and thawing of tuna at ambient temperature
|Kombucha tea fermentation
||Evaluate safety of a fermented kombucha tea preparation
|Marine water for commercial use
||What are the risks associated with marine water sourced from Burrard Inlet for use in restaurant fish tanks
|Olives, smoked and pickled
||Evaluate safety of commercial olives further processed by smoking and pickling
||Provide guidelines for refrigeration of fresh and partially dried pasta
|Raw refrigerated fish in ROP
||Provide guidelines for packaging raw fresh fish in cryo-vak (reduced oxygen packaging)
||Can mantles be smoked for human consumption and can offal be used for pet food?
|Sous-vide duck breast
||Processes are being questioned by inspectors as the meat in center of breast is pink at service
||Review food service of preparing eggs sous vide style that were linked to SE illnesses
|Re-useable tiffin containers
||Provide guidelines for the use of re-useable take-away containers for restaurant meals
|Wheatgrass and microgreens
||Are wheatgrass and microgreens the same risk as sprouted seeds?
Rev: Apr '15
|Wild (pine) mushroom foods
||Evaluate safety of wild mushrooms in infused oil and salts
Food Protection Services phone 604-707-2440
NCC Environmental Health phone 604-829-2551
Poison Control Centre phone 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911