The Ontario government recently released a guide on how to start a home-based food business, which includes an overview of public health requirements that need to be followed as a food operator. It has also made regulatory changes to allow more flexibility to sell low-risk, home-prepared foods. These supports are part of the government’s continued efforts to help small, independent businesses succeed and contribute to Ontario communities during COVID-19, stated officials.

“For many local entrepreneurs, they start with a love of food and a cherished family recipe, whether it’s grandma’s apple pie or that new take on homegrown pickles, jams and preserves, and try and turn their passion into a successful business,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Our government applauds them for their vision and effort and we are doing everything we can to help them seize new opportunities without compromising Ontario’s high standards for food safety.”

Low-risk foods are considered non-hazardous and do not require refrigeration. They include items such as baked goods, pickles, jams and preserves, chocolates, hard candies and brittles, fudge and toffees, granola, trail mix, nuts and seeds, and coffee beans and tea leaves, the province said in a media statement.

“Starting a home-based food business is an excellent opportunity for people across Ontario to share their culinary creativity, build a business for themselves and be part of the province’s agri-food sector,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

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