Glossary

Adulteration
Food is adulterated when a harmful substance is added, making it unfit for consumption.
Clean
The action of removing visible soil and debris through the use of soap and warm water.
Complaint Inspection
Occurs when a member of the public makes a complaint to Public Health about a premise. It may also be performed if food-borne illness is suspected to have occurred as a result of eating at a particular premise.
Conviction
A legal outcome of a charge placed before the Ontario Court of Justice in which an individual or business has either plead guilty to the charge or has been found guilty of an offence by the courts at the completion of a trial. The outcome may include fines and/or court orders or alternative sentencing.
Corrected During Inspection
Infractions that are corrected during the time of inspection.
Critical infraction
Issue found during an inspection that could pose a potential health hazard when not corrected.
Cross-Contamination
The transfer of harmful material such as pathogens from one item to another. An example of cross-contamination is using the same cutting board for raw chicken and then for ready-to-eat food, without thoroughly washing and sanitizing between uses.
Danger Zone
The temperature range between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F) where harmful pathogens in food will grow rapidly.
Disinfectant
A substance used on inanimate objects that destroys bacteria, fungi, viruses and some bacterial spores depending on the level of the disinfectant and the contact time used. Disinfectants are classified as high, intermediate or low strength.
Follow-Up Inspection
Follow-up visit to a business to check that previously identified infractions/problems have been corrected. How soon a re-inspection occurs depends on the severity of the infraction.
Food
Is food or drink for human consumption or an ingredient of food or drink for human consumption.
Food Contact Surface
Any surface that comes into direct contact with food, such as equipment, cutting boards, utensils, containers, etc.
Food handler
An employee who handles or comes into contact with any utensil or food during its preparation, processing, packaging, service, storage or transportation.
Food Premises Regulation 493
Part of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Sets the minimum standards for any premises where food is served.
Food premises/food establishment
Any place where food or drink is made, processed, stored, handled, displayed, distributed, transported or sold to the public.
Food-borne illness
Also known as “food poisoning”, results from eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria (or their toxins), parasites, viruses or chemicals. Salmonella and E.coli are two common types of bacteria that cause food-borne illness.
Hazardous food
Any food that supports the growth of pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms or the production of toxins by these organisms. Foods with high levels of protein, moisture and neutral acidity (e.g. meats, dairy products and poultry) are considered hazardous.
Health hazard
Any substance, plant, animal, gas or liquid that is likely to have a harmful effect on a person’s health.
Multi-service item
Any container or utensil intended for repeated use.
Non-critical infraction
An infraction that is not likely to lead to food-borne illness or infection (e.g., lighting is not adequate for food preparation or work areas).
Operator/owner
A person who has responsibility for and control over all activities carried out in a food establishment or personal services setting.
Order
Direction issued by a medical officer of health or a public health inspector under the authority of the Health Protection and Promotion Act that may require a person or organization to stop or take a certain action, if there are reasonable and probable grounds that a health hazard exists.
Personal Services Settings (PSS)
Businesses offering personal care services such as hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, ear and body piercing, electrolysis, massage (other than Registered Massage Therapist [RMT] massage), manicures, pedicures, holistic services and esthetics. May also be referred to as beauty and body art establishments.
Potable water
Water that is safe to drink.
Ready-to-eat food
Foods that need no further processing or cooking before eating (e.g. deli meats, fully cooked foods, washed produce).
Required Inspection
A unannounced, regularly conducted inspection to ensure an establishment is operating in accordance with the applicable legislation.
Sanitizer
A chemical used to reduce micro-organisms on inanimate objects. Sanitizers that are acceptable for use in food establishments or personal services settings include chlorine, quaternary ammonium and iodine.
Single-use instruments
Equipment/devices used during the process of carrying out beauty and body art services that must be thrown out after each client (e.g., buffer blocks, toe dividers and non- glass/metal nail files).
Sterilization
Process that results in the destruction of all forms of microbial life including bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi, making the object sterile. Equipment/devices must be cleaned thoroughly before effective sterilization can take place.
Summons
A notice to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice regarding charges related to violations of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Ticket
A Provincial Offence Notice issued by a public health inspector for an infraction (violation) of the Ontario Food Premises Regulation that has a set fine associated with each infraction.