Food Safety

Environmental Health Officers conduct more than 7,000 inspections of restaurants, food facilities and stores annually.  We also educate food handlers and consumers about safe food handling practices.

Food Recalls and Advisories

A current list of recalls can be found at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Health Advisory

December 22, 2016: Consumption of raw and partially cooked oysters linked to norovirus illness 


Restaurant Inspections

View inspection reports for restaurants on Vancouver Island.

Food Safety Forms

Find food safety application forms and templates.


Opening a Restaurant, Mobile Food Unit or other Food Premises

See the Opening a Food Service Establishment brochure. 

Under the Food Premises Regulation, any person wishing to operate a food premise must  submit applications to the local Health Protection and Environmental Services office PRIOR to construction.

Application packages must include:

All food facilities are required to be connected to a water system that complies with the Drinking Water Protection Act and Regulation and has a valid operating permit. Requirements for water systems.

They also require a waste disposal system in compliance with the appropriate government agency. Your existing systems may require review and upgrading.  Your local Environmental Health Officer can provide more information.

Once ready to open, the Environmental Health Officer will conduct a pre-opening inspection and, upon compliance with the Food Premises Regulation, written approval and an Operating Permit will be issued.



Restaurant operators must hold a certificate for the successful completion of FOODSAFE or equivalent. At least one employee present must hold a valid FOODSAFE certificate if the operator is absent.  Find a FOODSAFE course near you.  If you require a replacement FOODSAFE Certificate, please call 250.737.2017 or email foodsafe@viha.ca.

Effective July 29, 2013, all FOODSAFE Level 1 certificates issued in British Columbia are valid for 5 years.  Certificates issued prior to July 29, 2013 will expire July 29, 2018.  To recertify, simply retake the FOODSAFE Level 1 course or take the FOODSAFE Level 1 Refresher Online Course


Temporary Food Service/Special Events/Farmers Markets and other Temporary Food Markets

Individuals wishing to prepare and sell food at public events are required to fill out an  Application to Operate a Temporary Food Service.  Once completed please submit to your local Health Protection and Environmental Services Office

Individuals wishing to sell lower risk food items at farmers markets and other temporary food markets, as well as Market Managers, should familiarize themselves with the Guidelines for Temporary Food Markets.  Those wishing to sell higher risk food items at temporary food markets are required to complete an Application for Sale of Higher Risk Food at Temporary Food Markets  and submit it to the local Health Protection and Environmental Services office.

Applications must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the event date or market.  Incomplete or late applications may not be processed.


Food Safety Guidelines

Food Banks

Mobile Food Carts  

Mobile food Preparation Vehicles 

Temporary Food Concessions Food Prep  

Temporary Food Concessions No Food Prep 

Mechanically Tenderized Beef

Deep Fryers and Frying Oil

Sous Vide Cooking Safety