Ontario’s agriculture and food laws
Learn more about food safety and agriculture laws, how to report an offence, the regulatory hearing process and recent court outcomes.
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The Regulatory Compliance Unit (RCU) conducts inspections and investigations of regulated parties for compliance with provincial food safety and agriculture laws in accordance with Ontario’s Regulators’ Code of Practice. The RCU provides support and education to compliant businesses with a balanced response to serious or repeat violations. They also work with other ministries, governments, public health units and industry organizations to ensure effective regulatory compliance.
Operating a compliant agri-food business
When you are starting a new agri-food business, it is important to know that many different laws and rules may apply to you. It is your responsibility to ensure you consult with the proper agencies before you begin.
You may need licenses or inspection oversight to conduct certain activities, such as:
- food production (meat, dairy, or fish)
- agriculture business activities (farm implements, livestock dealers license, livestock medicines, bee registration)
- registration with your local public health unit
- registration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Food and food product labels may require specific information. You can learn more about the responsibilities by looking at:
- Ontario’s Regulators Code of Practice
- OMAFRA’s food inspection programs
- the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s food label requirements
- the Public Health Unit Locator
Report an agri-food offence
To report a food borne illness from food purchased from a restaurant or retail outlet, or concerns about the cleanliness of a restaurant or retail outlet, contact your local public health unit.
To report food tampering, foreign objects in food, labelling issues or animal transportation concerns, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
To report animal cruelty, call 1-833-9ANIMAL (
Report alleged illegal activity or food safety concerns to OMAFRA:
- Online report
- Email: Regulatory.firstname.lastname@example.org
- General inquiries or complaints about bird bangers, call:
If you wish to remain anonymous, only submit your complaints to OMAFRA through the online report or by phone. Do not provide information that may reveal who you are.
OMAFRA may respond to:
- illegal slaughter of animals
- production, sale and/or distribution of ready-to-eat meat products without a license
- distributing milk without a license
- operating a dairy plant without a license
- selling ungraded eggs somewhere other than at a farm
- selling livestock medicine without a license
- misrepresentation of maple products and honey
- country of origin misrepresented of fruits and vegetables
- concerns surrounding livestock sale barns
- breeding or raising animals for research without a license
- buying cattle without a livestock dealers license
- receiving grain or operating a grain elevator without a license
- installing tile drainage without a license
- selling or distributing farm implements without registration
- evidence of disease in food animals
Hearings under food safety and agriculture legislation
If you conduct activities regulated by the OMAFRA, circumstances may arise where you may be asked (or might ask for) a hearing before a Director.
Recent court bulletins
View our most recent convictions under provincial food safety and agriculture laws.