With the recent 2017-18 Budget announcement, programs and services affected will be updated shortly. Posted March 22, 2017

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Food Safety

In Saskatchewan, public health inspectors employed by regional health authorities inspect restaurant type facilities, food processing facilities, and slaughter plants. They are also involved in other food activities such as farmers’ markets, food retail, food distribution and home food processing operations to investigate complaints or potential food borne illness linked to these activities. 

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1. Food Safety Program

Food safety is everyone’s responsibility including:

  • Producers
  • Processors
  • Transporters
  • Retailers
  • Food facilities
  • Food regulators
  • Individuals preparing food for themselves or their family and friends

Food may become contaminated along the ‘field to fork continuum’ and make people sick. 
 
The contaminants may be:

  • Biological (e.g. bacteria, viruses, moulds or parasites)
  • Physical (e.g. glass or metal fragments)
  • Chemical (e.g. cleaners, disinfectants, pesticides)

Safe food products result when using:

  • Wholesome food
  • Good food handling practices
  • Properly designed, constructed and equipped food facilities

The goal of a food safety inspection program is to:

  • Prevent or minimize the risk of food-borne illness (sometimes referred to as food poisoning)
  • Reduce safety hazards through education and enforcement by public health inspectors 
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2. Restaurant – type Facilities

Restaurant-type facilities prepare and serve food to the public for immediate consumption. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Dining rooms
  • Fast food outlets
  • Caterers
  • Mobile food vendors
  • Ice cream stands
  • Concession booths 
  • Public cafeterias 

These facilities are licensed to operate under The Food Safety Regulations.

Public health inspectors ensure restaurant-type facilities operate according to The Food Safety Regulations and supporting standards

Saskatchewan Restaurant Inspection Information (Inspection InSite) 

Improved restaurant-type inspection information is now available online at Inspection InSite. User-friendly, up-to-date information from public health inspection reports is available for over 5,000 restaurant type facilities across Saskatchewan. 


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3. Food Processing Facilities

Food processing facilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Bake shops
  • Cheese processing facilities
  • Canneries
  • Bottling plants (except water bottling operations)
  • Ice plants 
  • Facilities that process cereals and grains, spices and seasonings, and fats and oils 

Food processing facilities prepare food that is not for immediate consumption and do not require a licence to operate.

Public health inspectors inspect food processing facilities to ensure they are operating according to The Food Safety Regulations. They look for conditions that may directly or indirectly cause food-borne illness, for example, temperature control, safe food handling practices and water quality. 

Food Processing Facility Best Management Practices were developed to assist food processors in their efforts to produce food products in a manner that will minimize or prevent the risk of food borne illness, poisoning, or injury to the public. 

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4. Home Food Processing

Recent amendments to The Food Safety Regulations allow home food processors to prepare “low risk” foods in their own home for direct sale to the public, and to retail stores or wholesale establishments that do not prepare or process food for sale.

In general, “low risk” foods do not require temperature control for safety and do not cause food-borne illness if handled properly. Examples of “low risk” foods include but are not limited to baked goods such as bread, cakes, fruit pies, jam, jelly, candy and pickled vegetables.   

The Home Food Processing Fact Sheet was developed to:

  • inform the home processor about The Food Safety Regulations;
  • assist the home food processor in safe food production; and
  • identify known “low risk” food items.
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5. Slaughter Plants

Slaughter plants are food facilities where animals (for example, cattle, pigs or poultry) are slaughtered and the meat is cut into retail cuts or processed (for example, sausages or jerky) for sale to the public.  
  

Public health inspectors inspect slaughter plants to ensure they operate according to The Sanitation Regulations.

The inspection focuses on:

  • General cleanliness
  • Proper food handling practices
  • Construction
  • Water quality
  • Sewage disposal systems
  • Temperature controls 

Slaughter plants are licensed to operate under these regulations.


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6. Public Health Complaints

Public health inspectors in health regions are responsible for investigating complaints from the public about food facilities such as restaurants, food processing facilities and slaughter plants. They consider the regulations and the public health risk, before deciding how to address any concerns.
  

Call the public health inspector in your health region with concerns about a food facility that you feel is operating below acceptable standards, or to report a recent illness that you feel may be linked  to food consumed at a particular facility or event.

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