Date: June 17, 2019

Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers late this evening and after midnight. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low 12.


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Food Safety Links

Food Safety in the Community

Special Event FAQ

Food Safety at Home

Food Safety for Food Premises Operators

Food Safety Resources

DineSafe Lambton

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Special Event FAQ

This page was reviewed or revised on Friday, June 2, 2017 2:14 PM

What is a special event?

It is an event open to, and where food is made available to, the general public.
A special event can be as small as a fundraiser BBQ or as large as a festival. No matter the size or scale of the event, providing Lambton Public Health (LPH) with all the information will ensure food being sold or offered to the public is safe.


  • Fairs
  • Carnivals
  • Promotional events
  • Exhibitions
  • Fundraisers / charity events
  • Community sports events

Why should I contact Lambton Public Health?

Like you, we want to ensure your function is a success. By notifying Lambton Public Health public health inspectors can:

  • Answer questions and/or provide food safety information and resources address food safety concerns before the event.
  • Ensure all requirements of the Ontario Food Premise regulation and the Smoke-free Ontario Act are met.
  • Review safe food handling procedures with the organizer and each food vendor.
  • Prevent unexpected requirements the date of the event.

I am hosting a special event. Does a public health inspector (PHI) need to inspect my event?

Each time a Special Event Notifications is received by LPH a risk assessment is conducted. Based on the results, an inspection may or may not be conducted the date of the event.

As part of a risk assessment the PHI reviews:

  • Special event application forms
  • Considers the level of food handling and steps involved in food preparation
  • Expected number of attendance
  • Amount of hazardous vs non-hazardous food sold or available 
  • Location, access to water, hydro etc.
  • Previous inspection history

It is not possible for LPH to inspect all events located in Lambton County. Based on the information an inspection may be warranted the date of the event.

Will I get a fine if I do not contact LPH?

No. You will not be fined for not notifying LPH of your special event or for your participation at a special event. HOWEVER, if LPH finds that you are not in compliance with the Food Premise Regulation (Reg.562), you may be ordered to close and fines may be issued for infractions.
As an organizer, or food vendor, you are responsible and liable to ensure the safety of all food for sale or offered to the public during the event.

Do I need to contact LPH if only serving 20 members of the public?

Yes. LPH wants to know about your special event no matter how big or small it is. We want to provide important information to ensure compliance, and a smooth event.

Do I need to contact Lambton Public Health for my wedding reception or family reunion?

LPH is not involved with restricted functions because it is not open to the public.
For weddings and family events attendance is normally by personal invitation, which means LPH public health is not involved with private events. However, if you have food safety questions a PHI can consult with you and provide some safe food handling tips.

Note: Some events may require Lambton Public Health's approval for Special Occasion Permits issued by Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (liquor licenses).

Is there a fee for an inspector to visit our special event?

No. PHIs work with you to ensure the food being served in our community is safe.

I want to prepare food at home for a special event; like prepare / cook chili, and then reheat it at the event. Is this allowed?

No. All food offered for sale at a special event must be prepared at an inspected facility or prepared on-site the date of the event. For a list of inspected facilities in Lambton County visit DineSafe Lambton.

I want to set up a booth at an event (i.e. Artwalk, Ribfest, Music in the Park, Canada Day etc.). Do I need to contact LPH?

Yes. If you are going to be a vendor offering any type of food at any special event, then LPH must be notified. A PHI will review your information to ensure all requirements are met before the event. This prevents any confusion on the date of the event.

What is involved as part of the notification process for special events?

If you are an event organizer complete and submit the following form two (2) weeks before the event to Lambton Public Health: Community Special Events Application for Event Organizers or the online special event form.

If you are a vendor selling food at an event complete and submit the following form two (2) weeks before the event to Lambton Public Health: Community Special Events Application for Food and/or Beverage Vendors, or the online special event form.

Both forms can be located here:

A PHI will review the forms and contact you to ensure all requirements are met before the special event.

How soon before my event should I contact Lambton Public Health?

The sooner the better. Early notification will ensure a smooth event. We suggest notifying us during the initial planning stages. A PHI can discuss all necessary requirements. All application forms, both organizer and vendor forms, should be submitted two (2) weeks prior to the event.

I am hosting a special event with FREE food. Do I still need to contact Lambton Public Health?

Yes. LPH must be notified when food is available for public consumption at the event site including:

  • food vendors
  • food sampling
  • giveaways
  • food of volunteers, etc.

Events offering any type of food must notify and receive approval from LPH.

What do I need to bring to meet food safety requirements?

  • Handwash station. Temporary station acceptable - container with spigot, soap and paper towels.
  • Fridge / freezer thermometers
  • Probe thermometers
  • Bleach & paper towels or clean wiping cloths
  • Extra utensils
  • Canopy
  • Garbage container
  • SFOA (Smoke-free Ontario Act) signage

Is there an online fillable form?

Yes. You may fill out and submit the form online.

Coming Soon!

What are the requirements for smoking at my event?

Smoking is not allowed on patios, including festivals and events, (e.g., food truck tables) and within 20 metres of playgrounds and public sporting areas. Your event may require to be smoke-free under the Act.
Tobacco Enforcement Officers with Lambton Public Health will provide signage to ensure your event complies with the Smoke-free Ontario Act.

For more information contact:

Lambton’s Tobacco Hotline: 519-383-3810
1-800-667-1839 ext. 3810