Food Premises Program

The primary goal of the Food Premises Program offered by PEI Environmental Health is to prevent cases of food poisoning through consultation, education, and enforcement of regulations. Detailed inspections of all food premises in the province (approximately 1,450 premises) are performed on a regular basis for compliance with the PEI Public Health Act and related Food Premises Regulations.

What is a food premises?

A food premises is any place where food is:

  • manufactured
  • processed
  • prepared
  • packaged
  • stored
  • handled
  • distributed
  • transported
  • served
  • offered for sale or sold
  • sold in a food vending machine.

Examples of food premises include:

  • restaurants
  • dining rooms
  • cafes
  • take-outs
  • convenience stores
  • grocery stores
  • retail bakeries.

Do I need a license to operate a food premises or to serve food to the public?

A license may be required if:

  • you operate a food premises, and/or
  • you prepare and/or serve food at locations including a farmers' market, craft fair, special event, or fundraising event.

License information is available on the website, Operate a Food Premises Licence - Online Application.

How do the regulations apply to local church groups and service clubs who host fundraising activities?

An exemption exists for food premises owned, operated or leased by religious organizations, service clubs, and non-profit organizations where low risk food (ex. sweets, muffins, loaves, etc.) is prepared or served by the group.

A Class 4 license (no fee) is required if your organization is preparing high risk food such as sandwiches, meat dishes, casseroles, or hosting large fundraising dinners.

How do I apply for a food premise license?

You must submit an application form and the applicable fee.  You may also apply online.

What information do I need to submit with my food premises application?

For a new license, you will need to provide:

  • a written description and plan of the site, building and equipment;
  • information respecting the food to be served in the food premises or at the event;
  • a sanitation plan, which identifies all chemicals used for cleaning and sanitizing as well as the protocols that will be followed;
  • a recent bacterial water sample report for any premises connected to a private water supply; and
  • proof that the license holder (or another staff person in their absence) has completed a food hygiene training program.

For a license renewal, you must:

  • submit the  Application to Operate a Food Premises, and the applicable fee or complete the renewal online;
  • provide information outlining any changes that were made to the operation since the issuance of the existing license;
  • provide a recent bacterial water sample report for any premises that is connected to a private water supply; and
  • provide proof that the license holder (or another staff person in their absence) has completed a food hygiene training program.

What type of food premises license should I apply for and how much does it cost?

Class 1A - fee $150:

Food premises where:

  • food is primarily consumed on the premises;
  • more than 25 seats are available for patrons; or
  • the operation is primarily a supermarket, caterer or retail bakery.

Types of Class 1-A food premises include:

  • restaurants
  • licensed premises
  • dining rooms
  • supermarkets
  • caterers
  • Retail Bakeries

Class 1B - fee $75:  

Food premises where:

  • food is primarily consumed on the premises; and
  • One (1) to 25 seats are available for patrons.

Types of food premises include:

  • restaurants
  • licensed premises
  • cafés
  • recreational facility canteens or other similar food premises where food is primarily consumed on the property/premises

Class 2  - fee $55:

Food premises where the food is primarily consumed off the premises.

Types of food premises include:

  • take-out or similar food premises where food is primarily consumed off the property/premises
  • convenience/grocery stores
  • public market organizer
  • public market vendor
  • home food production
  • mobile units
  • retail meat outlets
  • brewery, winery or distillery

Class 3A - fee $37.50:

Food vendor who provides food service at one temporary event per year.

Class 3B  - fee $55.00:

Food vendor who provides food service at more than one temporary event per year, or, is the organizer of a temporary event where food service is available to the public.

Class 4 - no fee

Community organization where food is processed, prepared, packaged, handled, served, or offered for sale or sold; OR an institution where:

  • food is served primarily for consumption by clients of that institution;
  • the food service is primarily non-commercial.

Type of food premises include:

  • banquet facility/church hall
  • School cafeteria or canteen (non-profit)
  • hospital

Who inspects food premises?

Environmental Health Officers who hold a Certificate in Public Health Inspection (Canada) from the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.  

Is there a fee for food premises inspections or consultations?

No.

How often are food premises inspected?

Food premises are inspected from one to three times per year. The frequency of inspections depends on:

  • types of food served;
  • food preparation and processing practices;
  • sanitation and condition of equipment and facility;
  • management and employee food safety knowledge;
  • past compliance with the PEI Public Health Act Food Premises Regulations; or
  • the volume of food prepared and served.

What are the requirements to pass a food premises inspection?

  • food must stored, prepared, cooked, held, and served at safe temperatures;
  • food must be protected from contamination;
  • food handlers must practice good personal hygiene;
  • food contact surfaces must be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner; and
  • sanitation and the condition of equipment and the facility must be properly maintained.

Operators are encouraged to review the Food Premises Regulations for information on food premise requirements. If starting a new business in PEI, Opening a New Food Premises will guide you through the process.

Are food handlers required to have a Food Safety Course?

Yes. As of April 2016, a license holder must have successfully completed a food safety course recognized by Environmental Health. If the license holder is absent from the food premises, at least one employee present in the food premise when food is being processed must have successfully completed a food safety course.

The certificate or other proof that a license holder or other staff member has completed the required food safety course must be posted in a location in the food premises where it can easily be checked during an inspection.

Any other person in the food premises who comes in contact with food or food contact surfaces must be trained or instructed in food safety to a level appropriate to the activity that the person performs. A full food safety course is recommended, but is not required.

How can one register for a Food Safety Course?

See upcoming courses

What happens if an inspector finds health violations at my food premises during an inspection?

The operator is given a defined period of time to correct the violation. If the violation is corrected prior to the follow-up inspection, the operator is considered in compliance and no further action is required. If the violation is not corrected, a second follow up inspection is required. Non-compliance on any follow-up inspection may result in a warning letter. Where an Environmental Health Officer observes a serious violation or violations, a direction or a health order may be issued under the PEI Public Health Act.

How do I report a complaint about a food borne illness (food poisoning)?

Contact Environmental Health at (902) 368-4970 or toll free at 1 (800) 958-6400.

Where can I find inspection results for food premises?

The Food Premises Inspection Report Disclosure Website posts inspection results to ensure accountability, transparency and accessibility for the general public. The report indicates whether a food premises is in compliance with the food premise regulations, and lists inspection items not in compliance. 

Who can I contact to discuss the food premises regulations and how they apply to my business or event?  

Title: Environmental Health Office, Department of Health & Wellness 

Telephone: (902) 368-4970

Toll Free: 1(800)958-6400

Fax: (902) 368-6468

Email: smblaquiere@gov.pe.ca

Published date: 
February 22, 2016
Health and Wellness department logo

General Inquiries

Environmental Health
2nd Floor Sullivan Building
Fitzroy Street
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: 902-368-4970
Toll Free: 
1-800-958-6400

envhealth@ihis.org