The Ontario Food Premises Regulation was recently modernized to allow for an outcome-based approach when applying the regulations. The new regulation states that, “all food be processed in a manner that makes the food safe to eat”. This change has provided more flexibility to food premises operators when preparing foods and recipes. Below is some information to assist food premises operators with specific food processes to ensure foods are prepared safe and ready to eat.
Gyros, donairs and shawarmas are meat products (beef, chicken and/or lamb) which are chopped, flaked, ground or minced and restructured into a “cone”. They are generally cooked on a vertical style broiler, and cones may be on the broiler for a substantial amount of time.
The potential for food-borne illness is higher than other prepared meat products because of the preparation method used. Generally, meat is sliced or shaved from the exterior of the cone and served to consumers while the interior of the cone is still raw. There is potential for raw product to be served to consumers. .
Use meat from inspected and approved source
At the end of a day, partially cooked cones CANNOT be kept intact for future use. If the operator is consistently left with large amounts of product remaining at the end of the day they should reduce the size of the cone being used.
Portuguese Style Custard Tarts (Nata or Pastel de Nata) are individual-sized pastries with a filling made with eggs, cream, and sugar in a flaky crust.
When Portuguese Style Custard Tarts are prepared, raw custard filling is poured into the pastry and then cooked in a very hot oven (550°F-700°F) for 10-12 minutes. This method kills vegetative pathogens and creates a crust on the surface of the tart. This dry surface crust and the pastry crust protect the moist filling from contamination.
These products may be left unrefrigerated for up to 24 hours after production if prepared as described.
Custards are generally considered a hazardous food and must be refrigerated. This document provides an exemption for this specific product only. Custards that are sliced, custards larger than single serving, and custards cooked below the noted temperatures MUST be refrigerated after preparation.
Portuguese Style Custard tarts may be left unrefrigerated for 24 hours after production only if the following conditions are met:
Sous vide is a food preparation process using vacuum sealed plastic bags to cook food within a water bath kept at a very consistent and precise temperature. The process may also include vacuum packing foods on site by utilizing appropriate equipment and food grade packaging. Sous vide is becoming increasingly popular, especially among high-end restaurants in large urban cities like Toronto. It can be used cosmetically to retain vibrant colors of food products and change the texture of the food to something that would not be attainable through conventional means.
Sous vide cooking can utilize low-temperature, long-time cooking. Toronto Public Health recognizes this and will allow sous vide food processing under the following conditions:
Food premises may utilize sous vide techniques for both hazardous and non-hazardous foods.
The food pathogens of greatest concern are Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes. A food premises may process food using sous vide methods, provided proper controls are in place and staff are adequately trained. The food items must be carefully monitored to control for temperature, water activity and pH. As always, care must be taken to prevent cross-contamination, ensure proper food handling techniques and personal hygiene
Sushi rice is a ready to eat preparation of rice commonly used to make sushi and maki rolls. It is usually made by mixing cooked rice with sugar, salt, and rice vinegar. Sushi rice is generally consumed as a component of another food product. This document refers to the rice only. Sushi or maki rolls made with raw fish are hazardous foods and must be held according to the Food Premises Regulations.
Sushi rice is a potentially hazardous food unless the pH is below 4.3 due to the risk of Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus. However, makers of sushi rice may want to maintain it at or near room temperature as sushi is traditionally served warm (at approximately 30°C) for ideal taste.
At premises where the rice pH is not checked routinely, Toronto Public Health will enforce the “two hour rule”. Sushi rice m After two hours, the product must be reheated to the original cooking temperature, refrigerated or frozen.
The two hour limit will only be permitted if the following criteria are met:
Premises must test at least weekly for pH of sushi rice, and who have results consistently below pH 4.3 would be allowed to hold sushi rice without temperature control for eight hours.
Premises who wish to go beyond this requirement can engage the services of a private lab to run a challenge study on the product. A properly conducted challenge study will have its conclusions reviewed by Toronto Public Health. Any changes in recipe or preparation after acceptance necessitate submission of a new study.