Effective today, the Department of Health and Social Services’ Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has introduced changes to the current NWT Food Establishment Safety Regulations (‘Regulations’).
The amended Regulations support the NWT Agriculture Strategy by promoting safe agriculture and food production in the NWT. Availability and affordability of high quality, safe and locally-produced food is important for the health and wellbeing of NWT residents. With the emergence of agricultural activities and local food production in the NWT, the Regulations have been updated to better reflect these new activities while ensuring safe food practices.
These amendments will make it easier to sell locally grown food, such as unprocessed fruits and vegetables, at venues like farmers and community markets. Changes to the permitting process will support food security and avoid the duplication of permitting fees. The changes will also streamline the permitting process and define when a permit is or is not required. This will result in a clearer, more responsive application process for NWT vendors.
The amendments and operational changes include the ability to:
- Exempt operators from the payment of permit fees to support food security;
- Waive additional permit fees for operators that require multiple permits;
- Exempt some of the permitting requirements for “home food processors", supporting home-based food businesses while still ensuring food safety;
- Grant more than one temporary or seasonal permit per year to individual applicants; and
- Grant farms a permit to sell locally-grown, low-risk foods at their gate.
The new Regulations also modernize food establishment and food safety requirements, and have updated fees for temporary, seasonal, and annual permits.
Hardcopy versions of resources and materials will be mailed out during August 2019 to all permit holders. The Environmental Health Unit will be tracking permits that come due in August to ensure effective transition.
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9090 ext. 49034