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British Columbia Food Safety Laws and Requirements

The British Columbia Food Premise Regulation lists all the detailed necessities for a food premise to guarantee the prevention of any contamination and health hazards. It outlines the minimum requirements pertaining to food handler hygiene, temperature control, sanitizing, pest control, maintenance and the various daily tasks that food handlers are involved in.

It is also highlighted in the British Columbia Food Premise Regulation that a valid FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 certification of food handlers is mandatory, and it the standard used by Public Health Inspectors during inspections.

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Federal Laws

Health Canada is tasked with creating policies and defining safety standards for businesses in the food safety industry.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is in charge of ensuring these policies and standards are followed.

Here are some laws and rules at the federal level that deal with the food safety in Canada

  • Safe Food for Canadian Act
  • Food and Drugs Act

Provincial Laws

Provincial food safety laws are set by:

  • British Columbia Food Premises Regulation according to the Public Health Act 
  • British Columbia Food Safety Act 


These laws require that food sold in B.C. is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards in the Food Safety Act.

Food safety laws are governed by:

  • British Columbia Ministry of Health
  • British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)

What does the British Columbia Regulation say about FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 Certificate?

Every operator of a food service establishment must hold a valid food handler certificate.

If the operator is absent, at least one employee who holds a valid food handler certificate must be present in the establishment.

What Should I Do?

Expert Advice: All health departments and health inspectors strongly encourage food handlers to get their FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 certificate. FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 certification gives workers the necessary knowledge to prevent cross-contamination and the spread of food-borne illnesses.

FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 Certification: Additional Information

Getting a FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 Certification is something many of your staff have to do by law, and it is a good idea to make sure every person who deals with food in your business gets certified.

Certificate Expiry and Renewal?

In British Columbia, FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 Certifications are valid for 5 years; you must renew them every five years.

Who should take this certificate course in BC?

In British Columbia, every operator of a food service establishment and at least one employee on every shift must hold a FOOD SAFE Level 1 or an equivalent certificate. 

What Happens If I Don’t Get The FoodSAFE LEVEL 1 Certificate?

Consequences can be severe if you or your staff choose to neglect FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 certification.

British Columbia Food Safety Inspections

Municipal, regional, and provincial health authorities oversee food safety implementation across British Columbia. Be prepared for inspectors to visit your business before opening and every four to six months after that.

During visits, you will be requested to provide your BC Food Safe Certificates and your business’ Food Safety Plan.

Health Inspectors have the authority to:


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Friendly and polite staff. Answer emails in a timely manner. Available 24/7 to help. They offer exam onsite and provide practice examination first and go over all questions. Being a Culinary Manager and with a food safety background Bashir is very knowledgeable and provides exceptional customer service.

Brendan de Jeu

My brother took the course and was successful at completing the Food Handler Certificate. The modules were really well done and easy to comprehend.

Jessica Cerqueir

Had a great experience with ProbeIt! Very affordable and the website is very user-friendly. When I contacted the support staff, they were always very quick to respond to me. Highly recommend to anyone looking to become food handling certified!

Joshua Batchelor

Our FOODSAFE LEVEL 1 Certificate will be valid for
5 years in British Columbia and across Canada.