Imported and Manufactured Food Program Inspection Manual
Chapter 5: Codes of Practice

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5.0 Scope

This chapter provides a brief introduction and overview of the generic codes of practice and other tools that IMFP inspectors use as assessment tools when inspecting a non-federally registered food establishment.

5.1 Generic Codes of Practice

The General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling (GPFHCL) and the Good Importing Practices for Food (GIP) are generic codes of practice that were developed by the Imported and Manufactured Food Program (IMFP) in consultation with other food programs within the Agency, as well as with industry. While the GPFHCL and the GIP serve as guidance to industry in the development of their food safety systems, IMFP inspectors use these two codes of practice to assess a manufacturers' or importers' compliance with the Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations.

Each chapter of the codes of practice describes specific criteria and procedures for the control of the safety, labelling and composition of food during the manufacture, processing, storage, and distribution of food in Canada. The chapters are divided into sub-sections which are further comprised of a principle statement (generic outcome-based statements of the objective of the particular sub-section), rationale, and assessment criteria. Inspectors can subsequently estimate the potential health risk associated with any non-conformity to the criteria.

Example:

Figure 3: General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling
Figure 3. Description follows.
Description for Figure 3
Chapter:
3.0 Premises
Sub-section:
3.1 Building Exterior
Sub-sub-section:
3.1.1 Outside Property and Buildings
Principle Statement:
Buildings and surrounding areas are designed, constructed and maintained in a manner which prevents conditions that may result in the contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

Grounds, roadways and drainage

The surrounding land is maintained to minimize sources of contamination such as debris and pest harbourage areas.

The building is not located in close proximity to any environmental contaminants.

Roadways are properly graded, compacted, dust proofed and drained.

The surrounding property is adequately drained.

Exterior building structure

The building exterior is designed, constructed and maintained to prevent entry of contaminants and pests (e.g. the exterior has no unprotected openings; air intakes are appropriately located; the roof, walls and foundation are maintained to prevent leakage).

It is essential that inspectors familiarize themselves with the chapters, sub-sections and assessment criteria of the GPFHCL and the GIP for Food . Both documents are available publicly and can be found on the CFIA website.

The Guide to Food Safety was also developed by the IMFP, in consultations with other food programs, other federal, provincial and territorial government and industry and is a voluntary tool that provides the Canadian food industry with generic guidance on how to design, develop and implement effective preventive food safety control systems. This will help to enhance food safety and prevent foodborne illness, injury and food spoilage.

5.2 Commodity-specific Codes of Practice, Inspection Guidelines, and HACCP Models

The list below outlines additional tools that have been developed to assist industry in meeting their regulatory requirements and inspectors in assessing compliance with regulatory requirements. These tools are generally more specific than the GPFHCL and the GIP.

Code of Practice

Inspection Guidelines

  • Assessing Allergen Controls in Processing and Importing Establishments – Food Allergy Reference Manual (Chapter 7). (This document is intended for internal use. CFIA staff can access this document using RDIMS number 1358753.)
  • Risk Management Strategy: Precautionary Labelling Regarding Milk on Chocolate Products. (This document is intended for internal use. CFIA staff can access this document using RDIMS number 1111827.)

Generic HACCP Model for…

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