Draft Preventive Control Plan Templates – For Domestic Food Businesses and Exporters

Disclaimer

The information in this draft guide is based on requirements set out in the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). It is important to note that the SFCR is not applicable at this time. The information is intended to help regulated parties understand the requirements they would need to comply with once the SFCR comes into force. The proposed requirements are subject to change as the regulatory process on the SFCR advances through its various stages. In the interim, current laws applicable to your food and business continue to apply.

Table of contents

1. Templates for conducting a hazard analysis

2. Templates to describe how you control your hazards

3. Template to describe the measures in place to meet market fairness requirements

These draft preventive control templates are provided to help demonstrate what information domestic food businesses and exporters would need to consider including in their written preventive control plans. The templates are generic and can be modified to suit your food business. Instructions for completing the templates, as well as completed examples, are provided within the document.

In order to determine if you would need to have a preventive control plan once the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations comes into force, consult the Would you need a preventive control plan? tool.

The Draft Step-by-Step Guide for Domestic Food Businesses and Exporters – Preparing a Preventive Control Plan explains what is generally included in a preventive control plan, and provides a step-wise process to help make sure it is complete. It is recommended that you review the guide before viewing the templates.

There are three sets of templates for the preventive control plan:

1. Templates you can use to conduct a hazard analysis.

2. Templates you can use to describe how you control your hazards, your critical control points (CCPs), and your verification procedures for all control measures.

3. Templates you can use to document the measures you have in place to meet the market fairness requirements (for example, labelling, packaging, grading, standards of identity, net quantity and humane treatment of animals) from the applicable sections referred to in 87(1)(a) and (b).

The preventive control requirements are found in Part 4 of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and requirements for the written preventive control plan are found in sections 84 through 87.

1. Templates for conducting a hazard analysis

When preparing a preventive control plan, you would be required to determine the biological, chemical and physical hazards that are associated with your food and process. The following four templates are designed to guide you through the hazard analysis process.

The product description, process flow and the traffic flow templates provide a way for you to systematically identify potential hazards associated with all ingredients/inputs (including food animals), packaging materials and processing steps.

Product Description Template

The Product Description Template begins the hazard analysis process by providing a complete description of the food prepared in your establishment. By completing this template you would be describing the various characteristics of your final product, as well as how the food would be packaged, stored and distributed.

Here are suggestions for completing the Product Description Template.

1. Food name(s)

  • List the names of each food. Include the brand name and common name of the food.

2. Important final product characteristics

  • Identify the characteristics of the food that affect food safety.
    • For example, pH, water activity (Aw), and salt content or concentration of preservatives.

3. Ingredients and inputs

  • List every ingredient and input added during processing, including relevant characteristics (for example, the source of fish – farmed vs. wild caught fish). Don't forget to include ingredients such as water and additives or inputs such as processing aids.
  • Include the components of each ingredient, such as the ingredients of sauces and seasonings, where applicable.

4. Packaging

  • List each type of packaging used for each food.

5. How the final product is being used

  • State whether the food is ready-to-eat, to be cooked, kept frozen, or if the food would be mixed with other foods for further processing.

6. Shelf life

  • Indicate the shelf life of the food under normal marketing conditions at a given storage temperature, and humidity (if applicable).

7. Where the food would be sold

  • Describe where the food would be sold.
  • State whether the food is being sold or marketed to a special group of consumers or institutions, such as infants or senior's homes and hospitals. This is important because certain populations (for example, the elderly, cancer patients, pregnant women) are especially vulnerable to specific food safety hazards.
8. Labelling instructions
  • List all labelling instructions for the food, such as any cooking or storage instructions.

9. Distribution control

  • List the controls required during transportation and storage, such as refrigeration.

Here is an example of a completed Product Description Template – PDF (17 kb).

1. Food name(s) Frozen cooked peeled shrimp
2. Important final product characteristics Temperature <-18°C
3. Ingredients and inputs Farmed shrimp, glaze (salt, water)
4. Packaging Polyethylene bags 300g/800g
5. How the final product is being used Product is thawed and consumed without further cooking
6. Shelf life 6 months after packaging
7. Where the product would be sold Domestic retail
8. Labelling instructions Keep frozen
9. Distribution control Store at <-18°C

Process Flow Diagram Template

A process flow diagram lists the sequence of steps for producing and/or processing a food. A process flow diagram helps you identify process steps where hazards are reasonably likely to occur and where control measures would be most effective. It is important that the process flow include all steps, from receiving ingredients to final product shipping, and highlights specific steps that are significant to food safety.

Here are suggestions for completing the Process Flow Diagram Template.

Food name

  • Provide the name of the food.

Process flow diagram

  • Use this box to draw out each of the process steps for the food.
    • It is up to you to determine if a process flow diagram is needed for each food, or if foods made by similar processes can be combined into one document.
    • It is recommended that you walk through the facility to verify that all of the steps are accounted for and accurate.

Later, you will be able to indicate on the process flow diagram any critical control points (CCP). The CCPs will be identified by using the second set of templates.

Here is an example of a completed Process Flow Diagram Template – PDF (14 kb).

Food name: Breakfast cereal

Process Flow Diagram

Click on image for larger view
Example of a completed Process Flow Diagram Template. Description follows.

Description for flowchart – Process Flow Diagram

A process flow diagram shows the step-wise process for making a food. In this case the product being created is "breakfast cereal."

The "breakfast cereal" flow diagram starts with "Receiving," than breaks off into two paths.

The breakfast cereal follows several steps. The first step is "Flaking grits and Flour Storage." The second step is "Mixing and Addition of Food Additives." The third step is "Cooking." The fourth step is "Drying and Cooling." The fifth step is "Tempering." The sixth step is "Flaking." The seventh step is "Toasting." The eighth step is "Fortification and Coating." The ninth step is "Cooling and Drying." The tenth step is "Metal Detection." The eleventh step is "Weighing, Packaging, Labelling and Coding." The twelfth and final step is "Final Product Storage" and finally "Shipping and Distribution."

The second path from "Receiving" has four steps. The first step is "Other incoming materials." The second step is "Weighing, Packaging, Labelling and Coding." The third step is "Final Product Storage." The fourth and final step is "Shipping and Distribution."

Traffic Flow Template

Traffic flow diagrams provide a basis for evaluating potential areas where food can be contaminated with pathogens (illness causing germs), foreign materials, chemicals or allergens.

Traffic flow diagrams illustrate the flow of:

  • raw foods and ingredients
  • finished products
  • workers, including to and from locker rooms, washrooms, and lunchrooms
  • waste materials and inedible products
  • chemicals, including allergens

Don't forget to include any areas where hand washing stations, hand sanitizers and boot cleaning stations are located.

Some of the potential cross contamination points you might identify during the hazard analysis process can be controlled by using sanitary zones or areas with restricted access for employees. The Traffic Flow Template can be used to illustrate these areas.

Here are suggestions for completing the Process Flow Diagram Template.

Food name

  • Indicate the name of the food covered by the traffic flow diagram.

Traffic flow diagram

  • Use this box to illustrate the floor plan of your facility (for example, plant schematic), indicating the various areas where people, equipment and food are located.
  • Use arrows to indicate the traffic flow pattern that people and food would follow, and indicate the name of the traffic flow that is being illustrated.
  • Mark potential cross contamination points on your diagram.

Here is an example of a completed Traffic Flow Template – PDF (14 kb).

Food name: Vegetable soup (refrigerated)

Traffic flow diagram:

Click on image for larger view
Example of a completed Traffic Flow Template. Description follows.

Description for flowchart – Traffic Flow Template

The Traffic Flow Diagram identifies various rooms in a facility, and the process in which a product would enter a facility in its raw form and then leave the facility in its processed form. There are two paths, raw products and employees, and finished products and employees.

The rooms identified in this diagram include the following: change rooms and washrooms, office, packaging and shipping, refrigerated cooler, receiving, frozen storage, tempering room, additional change rooms and washrooms, and cooking operation.

The raw product employee and raw product flow moves from the receiving area to the following areas: the refrigerated cooler, the tempering room, the cooking operation room. A waste container is located in the receiving area and the tempering room has a hand cleaning station. A waste container and a hand cleaning station are located in the cooking operation room.

Raw product employees have access to a change room and washroom located between the cooking operation and the tempering room.

The finished product employee flow moves from the cooking operation room to the frozen storage, to the packaging and shipping areas, and then the change room and washroom located beside the office.

The finished product flow moves from the cooking operation room to the frozen storage and then to the packaging and shipping area. There is a waste container located in the packaging and shipping area.

Hazard Identification and Evaluation Template

This template can help you determine the biological, chemical and physical hazards that may be reasonably expected to pose a risk to your food and how you would control those hazards. You would do this by considering each ingredient/input and each item in your process flow and traffic flow documents.

Here are suggestions for completing the Hazard Identification and Evaluation Template.

Food name(s)

  • Provide the name of the food.

Inputs (ingredients/packaging), process step or contamination point

  • List all the ingredients, incoming materials, processing steps and cross contamination points (one per row) from the Product Description Template, the Process Flow Diagram Template, and the Traffic Flow Template.

Hazard and cause

  • List the hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur for each ingredient, input, processing step or contamination point, and the cause. Be specific.
    • For example, pathogen survival (Listeria monocytogenes) due to insufficient time/temperature application.

Control(s)

  • Indicate how you would control each identified hazard.

Is the hazard significant?

  • Indicate (yes or no) if the potential hazard is significant, in other words if it could occur and would severely affect the health of consumers if it was present in the food.
    • Determining the significance of hazards helps you determine your critical control points later on.

Justification

  • Indicate your rationale for why the potential hazard is or is not significant.

Here is an example of a completed Hazard Identification and Evaluation Template – PDF (19 kb).

Food name(s): Ready-to-eat (RTE) soup
Inputs (ingredient/ packaging), process step, or contamination point Hazard and cause Control(s) Is the hazard significant? Justification
Process step: Storage (Chemical, biological, physical) Contamination by various hazards during storage due to the presence of pests and/or comingling with cleaning chemicals. Maintenance and operation of establishment (SFCR sections 47-78). No A "Maintenance and Operation of Establishment" program is implemented at our establishment to provide a safe environment for the production of food.
Ingredient: Aquaculture shrimp (Chemical) Residues from drugs used a the shrimp farm to control disease, at levels above prescribed limits (Therapeutants) Letter of guarantee from the supplier No Shrimps come from a trusted supplier, with a guarantee in place.
Process step: cooking (Biological) Illness causing germs (pathogens) that aren't killed if the cooking time and temperature are insufficient Adequate cooking time and temperature Yes If cooking time and temperature parameters are not met for every batch, there is a probability that illness causing germs (pathogens) could be present in the final product and consumers could get food poisoning.
Cross contamination point: Processing line (Chemical) Contamination of food with allergens from other foods processed on the same line Production line is cleaned and visually inspected prior to processing allergen-free food  –  See SOP1: processing line cleaning and sanitation and SOP2: pre-op inspection of processing line before dairy free soup Yes Very low levels of allergens can harm allergic consumers, and could be present in the food if an allergen control program is not strictly followed.

Food Allergies and Intolerance (Health Canada)

2. Templates to describe how you control your hazards

Once you have identified where hazards could occur in your food and process and how you would control them, you would need to develop written procedures to describe your control measures in more detail. You would also have to determine if any critical control points exist for significant hazards, and set critical limits for each of them.

The following templates are designed to help describe your control measures, identify critical control points (CCPs) and their critical limits, and set up the monitoring and corrective action procedures associated with your CCPs.

Important definitions:

A critical control point is a step at which a control measure is applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate biological, chemical, or physical hazards, or to reduce them to an acceptable level.

Critical limits are the maximum or minimum set values that control a hazard at a critical control point.

Control Measures Template

The Control Measures Template highlights the information you would need to include to describe the control measures you have for the hazards associated with your food and process.

Here are some suggestions for completing the Control Measures template.

Food name(s)

  • Provide the name of the food.

Control measures

Description

  • Describe the control measure by including details such as:
    • The task(s) required to carry out the control measure. For more complex control measures you may wish to provide these details in a separate document (for example, standard operating procedures). If so, refer to that document in this box.
    • How frequently the tasks are carried out. Be specific (for example, hourly, weekly, monthly).
    • The job title of the person responsible for the control measure.

Documents

  • It is a good practice to list any forms you use for the day-to-day collection of information used to record delivery of tasks and controls. It allows you to keep track of all the documents related to your written preventive control plan.

Here is an example of a completed Control Measures Template – PDF (17 kb).

Food name(s): Ready-to-eat soup (with shrimp)
Control measures Description Documents
Suppliers guarantee Company owner requires a signed contract with shrimp farm owner that guarantees aquaculture shrimps do not contain residues from drugs used to control disease, at levels above prescribed limits, and outlines the other conditions (for example, lab testing) to be met by the shrimp farm.

Renegotiate yearly – Include this requirement in regular contract renewals.

Contract on file.

Lab reports from supplier (every 10 lots).

Critical Control Point Determination Template

The Critical Control Point Determination Template lists the process steps where you would have identified a significant hazard(s) and provides a series of questions that guide you through the process of identifying critical control points.

Here are suggestions for completing the Critical Control Point Determination Template.

Food name(s)

  • Provide the name of the food.

Process step

  • List each process step where a significant hazard was determined on the Hazard Identification and Evaluation Template.

Significant hazards

  • Transfer the significant hazard(s) associated with the process step, including its cause, from the Hazard Identification and Evaluation Template.
  • Where you have identified significant hazards for inputs (ingredients and packaging) or contamination points on the Hazard Identification and Evaluation Template, describe these hazards on the Critical Control Point Determination Template at the processing step where they are introduced.
    • For example, if you have identified a pathogen as a hazard in an ingredient, include this hazard at the process step "receiving" if this is the point where the ingredient is introduced into your process.

Then, answer the following questions for each significant hazard:

Q1. Do control measures for this hazard exist at this step?

  • Indicate yes or no.
    • If yes, proceed to Q2.
    • If no, this is not a CCP. Indicate the step where the hazard would be controlled. Proceed to the next process step.

Q2. Is this step specifically designed to eliminate the hazard?

  • If yes, this is a CCP. Proceed to the last column.
  • If no, proceed to Q3.

Q3. Would a subsequent step eliminate the hazard?

  • If yes, this step is not a CCP. Identify the subsequent step where the hazard would be controlled.
  • If no, this step is a CCP and must be designed to control the hazard. Proceed to the last column.

CCP number

  • Number the CCP and identify the type of hazard (B for Biological, C for Chemical or P for Physical).
    • For example, CCP1B.
  • Indicate on the Process Flow Diagram where your critical control points occur.

Here is an example of a completed Critical Control Point Determination Template – PDF (77 kb).

Food Name(s): Ready-to-eat soup
Process step Significant hazards

Describe hazard and cause

Q1. Do control measures for this hazard exist at this step?

If yes, proceed to Q2

If no, not a CCP – indicate where and how the hazard would be controlled. Proceed to the next process step.

Q2. Is this step specifically designed to eliminate the hazard?

If yes, this is a CCP. Proceed to the last column.

If no, proceed to Q3

Q3. Would a subsequent step eliminate the hazard?

If yes: this step is not a CCP; identify the subsequent step where the hazard would be controlled

If no: this step is a CCP and must be designed to control the hazard ; go to last column

CCP number

Number the CCP and identify the type of hazard (B, C or P)

Mixing, cooking, packaging Contamination of food with fish allergens (chemical hazard) from other foods processed on the same line No – controlled by Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 1: Processing line cleaning and sanitation, and SOP2: Pre-op inspection of processing line before dairy free soup
Cooking Pathogen (illness causing germs) survival (biological hazard) if cooking time and temperature are insufficient Yes Yes CCP#1B

Critical Control Point Procedures Template

For every critical control point (CCP), you would need to:

  • determine the critical limits,
  • set monitoring procedures for CCPs to ensure that the critical limits are continuously met, and
  • indicate the corrective action procedure when critical limits are not met.

Here are suggestions for completing the Critical Control Point Monitoring and Corrective Action Template.

Food name(s)

  • Provide the name of the food.

Critical control point (CCP)

  • List the CCP that you have identified on the Critical Control Point Determination Template.

Significant hazard

  • Describe the hazard that is being controlled at that CCP.

Control measures

  • Name the control measure(s) that is preventing or eliminating the hazard.
    • Note that you should have already identified these control measures in the Control Measures Template. Since you have identified that these control measures are being applied at a CCP in the CCP Determination Template, more details are required as outlined in this template.

Critical limits

  • Indicate the critical limits for the CCP.

Monitoring

  • Describe in detail the monitoring procedures for each CCP.
  • Include the following details in your procedures:
    • What
      • Describe your procedure to monitor the critical limits.
      • Essentially, describe "what" you are doing.
    • How
      • Describe in detail, how the monitoring procedure is carried out.
      • For more complex monitoring procedures, you may wish to provide these details in a separate document. If so, refer to that document in this box.
    • When
      • Set a frequency for carrying out the monitoring procedure.
      • Monitoring can be continuous or intermittent. If monitoring is intermittent, the frequency must be sufficient to guarantee the CCP is in control.
    • Who
      • Name the job title of the person responsible for monitoring the critical limits.
    • Records
      • List the records used to monitor the CCP.

Corrective action

  • Describe the actions to be taken when critical limits are not met.
    • Include details on how you control the affected product and how you correct the process that led to the deviation.
    • Evaluate if other products could have been impacted.
  • Keep records of all corrective actions.

Here is an example of a completed Critical Control Point Procedures Template – PDF (18 kb).

Food name(s): Ready-to-eat soup (with shrimp)
Critical control point (CCP) Significant hazard Control measures Critical limits Monitoring Corrective action
CCP#1B Pathogen (illness causing germs) survival if cooking time and temperature are insufficient Heat process that achieves Listeria cook (5 log reduction of Listeria) Batch of product must be 200L maximum

Cooking for 5 minutes at 100°C minimum (as per validation study)

What: 1. Batch size – max 200L

2. Cooker set to hold cooking temperature of 100°C for 5 minutes.

How: 1. Record batch measurement in cook log

2. check time temperature recorder chart and insert in cook log

When: every batch

Who: Cooker operator

Records: Cook log

1. clearly identify and isolate affected product

2. evaluate deviation and determine source of the problem (for example, equipment malfunction, employee's mistake)

3. determine corrections (for example, fixing/changing equipment, retrain employee) including reprocessing or disposal of affected batch

4. record deviation, evaluation and actions taken in CCP corrective action form

Records: Corrective Acton Record

Verification Procedure for Control Measures Template

You need to describe the verification procedure for each control measure you listed in the Control Measures Template. A verification procedure is an explanation of how you would ensure that the control measure is consistently implemented and effective at controlling the hazard.

Here are suggestions for completing the Verification of Control Measures template.

Food name(s)

  • Provide the name of the food.

Name of the control measure(s) to be verified

  • Provide the name of each control measure from the Control Measures Template in this box.
  • You may wish to group a series of related control measures together as part of a more comprehensive verification procedure. Ensure the template is completed in a way that clearly demonstrates everything that is being verified.

Verification procedure

  • Describe the verification procedures for the control measures.
  • Include the following details in your verification procedures:
    • How the control measure is verified, for example,
      • visual inspections and employee interviews
      • testing food contact surfaces, ingredients, final products
      • dismantling equipment to verify the effectiveness of the cleaning process
      • record reviews
      • what to do when the control measure is not consistently implemented or is not effective.
  • For more complex control measures, you may wish to provide these details in a separate document (for example, standard operating procedures). If so, refer to that document in this box.

When

  • Determine a verification frequency that would allow you to discover potential issues before they affect food safety. For example, the frequency would be higher for control measures that are applied at CCPs.

Who

  • Name the job title of the person responsible for the verification procedure
  • Ideally, this would be a different person than the person that carried out the control measure.

Records

  • List any forms you use to record your verification activities.

Here is an example of a completed Verification Procedure for Control Measures Template – PDF (16 kb).

Food name(s): Seafood soup
Name of control measure(s) to be verified Verification procedure When Who Records
Supplier's guarantee Task 1:
a) Review contract to make sure it is still valid (signed less than a year ago)

b) Confirm that lab reports are provided with every 10 lots and that the results are negative

Task 2:
Visit shrimp farm

Task 1:
Semi-annually

Task 2:
annually

Task 1: Quality Assurance Manager

Task 2: Owner and Quality Assurance manager

Verification activities are recorded on our Supplier Audit Checklist
CCP #1B – Heat process that achieves Listeria cook (5 log reduction of Listeria) Task 1:
• Review records to ensure that the cook log is filled out for every batch and that critical limits are met for each batch.

Task 2:
• Observe the cooking process, including how cook log is filled by cooker operator to ensure that procedures are followed.

Task 3:
• Check the accuracy of the thermometer.

In case of non-conformity: Follow up actions would be taken immediately (for example, hold affected product, operator re-training, re-calibrate thermometer, review of thermometer calibration procedure).

Task 1:
weekly

Task 2:
monthly

Task 3:
monthly

Quality Assurance Manager Verification activities are recorded on our Verification Form

3. Template to describe the measures in place to meet market fairness requirements

In addition to the food safety requirements of Part 4 of the proposed SFCR, you need to describe the measures that you have in place to demonstrate that you meet applicable requirements for labelling, packaging, standards of identity, grades, humane treatment, and net quantity for your foods – these are referred to as market fairness requirements in this document.

The measures for market fairness requirements template is designed to capture this description.

You will find the specified requirements in section 87(1)(a) and (b) of the proposed SFCR.

Measures for Market Fairness Requirements Template

Here are suggestions for completing the template.

Food name(s)

  • Provide the name of the food.

SFCR section

  • Provide the applicable section number that you are describing.

Requirement

  • Specify the requirement to be met. You can summarize the provision of the SFCR section.

Measures

  • Describe the measure(s) you use to meet the market fairness requirements (for example, labelling, packaging, grading, standards of identity, net quantity and humane treatment of animals) that are applicable to your food.
  • If you have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in place that describes the details of how these measures would be carried out, you can refer to them here.

Here is an example of a completed Measures for Market Fairness Requirements Template – PDF (16 kb).

Food name(s): Ready-to-eat soup
SFCR section Requirement Measures
section 183 Food packaging must be suitable for the food processed • Soup is packaged in containers that are food grade. Keep letter from container supplier certifying that containers are food grade on file.

• Product development and shelf-life study (on file) demonstrated that the container can withhold product integrity and quality throughout its shelf-life

• At receiving, QC manager verifies that the containers are the ones ordered, and that they are in clean and sound condition.

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