On Wednesday, the City of Calgary announced that Fueling Minds, a catering company and school lunch delivery service provider - which has been at the center of the E. Coli outbreak in Calgary and the surrounding areas - has been charged by The City with serving food at childcare centres in Calgary without a Food Services - Business licence.
According to a media release by The City of Calgary, the charges were issued after it was discovered that Fueling Minds had been providing third-party food services to five Calgary childcare centres that were not owned by the company.
The corporation and its two directors have each been charged under the Business Licensing Bylaw for operating without a business licence for a total of 12 charges. If convicted, they could face a total fine amount of up to $120,000.
City of Calgary Business Safety Officers began investigating Fueling Minds once news broke of the E. coli outbreak, and it was shared that the company had been providing food services to five Calgary childcare centres owned by other operators. This additional service was outside of the scope of Fueling Minds Provincially licensed daycare business and required a City of Calgary business licence.
The City also received a complaint from a concerned member of the public via The City’s 311 service. Michael Briegel, Deputy Chief of Business Safety, said that The City of Calgary often relies on information from the public to identify businesses that are operating without proper licensing.
”We would like to thank that person for reaching out to us. We must help protect the health and safety of all Calgarians,” he says. “If you believe a business may be operating without a valid business licence, please contact us by calling 311. You can also call to confirm that a business is licensed or to report licensing concerns.”
The City of Calgary underlined that it does not license commercial daycare centres including food preparation or food service contained within these centres; Provincial regulations govern these types of businesses. However, The City does require a business licence for a third-party food services business if they are contracted to provide food and catering services. Before a licence can be issued to a food services business, it must have completed a health inspection, fire inspection and land use approvals.
“It is of utmost importance that businesses in Calgary have the proper licences in order to ensure a safer environment for Calgarians and the employees who work at such locations,” Briegel added. “While the vast majority of businesses do comply, those that don’t could be putting people at risk. The City of Calgary takes this very seriously.”
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