Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls

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1.0 Introduction

The preventive control requirements found in Part 4 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) contain the majority of the food safety requirements. The food safety requirements are based on internationally recognized principles of food hygiene, including Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Agricultural Practices, and the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). These requirements establish the expected food safety outcomes to help prevent food safety hazards and reduce the likelihood of contaminated food entering the Canadian market place.

In addition, there are inherent animal welfare risks to food animals during their handling and slaughter. The preventive control requirements found in Part 4 of the SFCR contain the animal welfare requirements that are based on internationally recognized principles. These preventive controls establish the outcomes for preventing or eliminating avoidable suffering, injury, or death other than by slaughter or humane killing of the food animal.

The following provides an overview of the regulatory requirements in Part 4 – Preventive controls.

Additional information on written Preventive control plans can be found in the guidance material Regulatory requirements: Preventive control plans.

2.0 Application

The preventive control requirements in Part 4 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) apply to both an operator (see section 2.1) and licence holders who import food (see section 2.2).

2.1 Responsibilities of operators

A. Operators who hold a licence to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label food.

If you hold a licence to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label food, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

  • Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures (refer to SFCR provision 47)
  • Treatment and processes (refer to SFCR provision 48)
  • Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents (refer to SFCR provisions 50-52)
  • Conveyances or equipment (refer to SFCR provisions 53-54
  • Conditions of the establishment (refer to SFCR provisions 56-57; 59-68; 69(1); 70-71)
  • Loading, unloading, and storage (refer to SFCR provisions 72-74)
  • Competency (refer to SFCR provision 75)
  • Hygiene (refer to SFCR provision 76-81)
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)

B. Operators who hold a licence to slaughter food animals

Food animals, other than game animals

If you hold a licence to slaughter food animals, other than game animals, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

  • Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures (refer to SFCR provision 47))
  • Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents (refer to SFCR provisions 50-52))
  • Conveyances or equipment (refer to SFCR provisions 53-55))
  • Conditions of the establishment (refer to SFCR provisions 56-71))
  • Loading, unloading, and storage (refer to SFCR provisions 72-74))
  • Competency (refer to SFCR provision 75))
  • Hygiene (refer to SFCR provisions 76-81))
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)
Game animals

If you hold a licence to slaughter game animals, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food and operations:

  • Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures (refer to SFCR provision 47))
  • Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents (refer to SFCR provisions 50-52))
  • Conveyances or equipment (refer to SFCR provisions 53-54))
  • Conditions of the establishment (refer to SFCR provisions 56-57; 59-68; 70))
  • Loading, unloading, and storage (refer to SFCR provisions 72-74))
  • Competency (refer to SFCR provision 75))
  • Hygiene (refer to SFCR provisions 76-81))
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)

Note: SFCR provisions 50, 51(1), 56, 66, 67 and 71 would only apply to the facility where you manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label the meat product derived from the game animal.

C. Operators who grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

If you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables for interprovincial trade or export, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

  • Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures (refer to SFCR provision 47)
  • Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents (refer to SFCR provisions 50-52)
  • Conveyances or equipment (refer to SFCR provisions 53-54)
  • Conditions of the establishment (refer to SFCR provisions 56-57; 59-68; 70-71)
  • Loading, unloading, and storage (refer to SFCR provisions 72-74)
  • Competency (refer to SFCR provision 75)
  • Hygiene (refer to SFCR provisions 76-81)
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)

D. Operators who handle fish in a conveyance

If you handle fish in a conveyance for interprovincial trade or export, you would be required to comply with the SFCR following requirements:

  • Hazard identification, analysis control and prevention and elimination (refer to provision 47)
  • Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents (refer to SFCR provisions 50-52)
  • Conveyances or equipment (refer to SFCR provisions 53-54)
  • Conditions of the establishment (refer to SFCR provisions 56(2); 57; 59-68; 70-71)
  • Loading, unloading, and storage (refer to SFCR provisions 72-74)
  • Competency (refer to SFCR provision 75)
  • Hygiene (refer to SFCR provisions 76-81)
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)

E. Operators who hold a licence to store and handle a meat product in its imported condition for the purpose of inspection

If you hold a licence to store and handle meat products in its imported condition for the purpose of inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, you are required to comply with the following requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

  • Hazard identification, analysis control and prevention and elimination (refer to provision 47)
  • Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents (refer to SFCR provisions 50-52)
  • Conveyances or equipment (refer to SFCR provisions 53-54)
  • Conditions of the establishment (refer to SFCR provisions 57; 59-68; 70-71)
  • Loading, unloading, and storage (refer to SFCR provisions 72-74)
  • Competency (refer to SFCR provision 75)
  • Hygiene (refer to SFCR provisions 76-81)
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)

2.2 Responsibilities of licence holders who import food

As a licence holder who imports food, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

  • Make sure that the food you import was manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged and labelled under at least the same level of protection as that provided by provisions 47-81.
  • Hazard identification, analysis control and prevention and elimination (refer to SFCR provision 47)
  • Investigation, notification, complaints and recall (refer to SFCR provisions 82-84)

3.0 Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures

SFCR: Sections 47 and 48

Rationale

Hazards may be inherent to food, or they may be introduced during its preparation, movement, or storage. The presence of hazards in food can cause a risk of injury to human health. It is therefore important that you identify and analyze the hazards associated with the food, whether they will be sent or conveyed from one province or territory to another, imported, or exported, and use control measures that are effective to prevent, eliminate or reduce the hazards to an acceptable level.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 47(1): Hazard identification and analysis

Subsection 47(2): Effective control measures for the identified hazards

Subsection 47(3): Hazard identification and analysis for persons who import

Subsection 48(1): Scheduled process for low-acid food in a hermetically sealed package

Subsections 48(3) and 48(4): Documents and retention period for scheduled processes

  • For each low-acid food, you prepare documents that set out:
    • a description of the scheduled process that you will apply
    • the name of the person that developed the scheduled process; and
    • the formulation of the food
      Examples:
      • The description of the scheduled process could include:
        • the processing parameters such as the initial temperature of the product, the process temperature, the process time and pressure
        • other critical factors that affect commercial sterility such as water activity, pH, viscosity, percent solids, fill weight, headspace, particle size and starch addition
        • the container dimensions and type
        • the container orientation and spacing in retort where appropriate
        • the venting procedures, (these should be determined on fully loaded retorts only); and
        • the date the scheduled process was developed or last modified
      • The formulation of the food could include:
        • the names and quantities of all the ingredients, including food additives that make up the low-acid food
  • Each time you apply a scheduled process you prepare documents that set out:
    • the name of the food
    • the production volume
    • the equipment that is used for the treatment
    • the parameters of the treatment, such as:
      • the start and end times
      • temperatures, and
      • pressure
    • a description of any maintenance to the equipment
    • a description of any modifications to the equipment
    • any deviations from the scheduled process
    • any corrective action taken due to the deviation
    • the incubation results
    • a description of any treatment of the cooling water
  • You keep these documents for a period of three years after the day you applied the scheduled process

Subsection 48(2): Exception from the application of a scheduled process to low-acid food in hermetically sealed packages

  • You would not have to apply a scheduled process if:
    • the food is kept refrigerated or frozen; and
    • you label the food on the principal display panel with the expressions: "Keep Refrigerated" and "garder réfrigéré" or "Keep Frozen" and "garder congelé", as the case may be
      Note: For additional information on labelling requirements, refer to the Industry labelling tool

4.0 Conditions of the establishment

SFCR: Sections 56 to 71

Rationale

It is important that you operate on land that forms part of your establishments which is distant from nearby businesses such as oil refineries, chemical plants, and paper mills that generate smoke, dust, and odours that could contaminate your food. Failure to design and maintain facilities or conveyances appropriately can lead to inadequate lighting, temperature, humidity, and ventilation which increase the risk of contamination during food preparation.

In addition, ineffectively removing waste, using unsafe and non-potable water, and installing an inadequate number of hand cleaning stations increase the risk of contamination of your food by unsanitary contact and spread of communicable diseases. Furthermore, if you slaughter food animals, improperly segregating and isolating sick or injured animals, as well as overcrowding, may increase the risk of spread of disease and contamination of your food.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For more best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Sub-section 56(1): Condition of the land that forms part of the establishment

  • If any land presents a risk of contamination of the food, you take measures to eliminate the risk
    Examples:
    • If you store food outside of the facility, you store it off the ground and covered
    • You keep dock areas that lead into the facility free from food spillage
    • Areas where you handle the food before it enters the facility are well-drained and maintained to prevent pooling or standing water

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • before you use the land and on an on-going basis, you assess it for sources of contamination, such as:
      • persistent heavy metals such as mercury and lead
      • sewage sludge
      • liming materials
      • fecal matter
      • unusually high levels of animal and bird activity
    • if you identify sources of contamination, depending on the source, you:
      • do not use the field
      • if it is already in use, you do not harvest until you are sure that the fresh fruits or vegetables are not contaminated
      • seek expert advice to determine whether the fresh fruits or vegetables may become contaminated if you use the land to grow and harvest them

Sub-section 56(2): Proximity of the establishment to places or things that present risk of contamination

  • If any establishment is located near any place or thing that presents a risk of contamination of the food, you take measures to eliminate the risk
    Examples:
    • You grade, compact, dust proof and/or drain the driveways, roadway and parking lots to allow the drainage of water away from the establishment
    • You maintain the land surrounding your establishment to prevent animals, including pests, from harbouring around the establishment by:
      • removing any debris and refuse
      • keeping the grass trimmed and removing dead vegetation
      • regularly cleaning and covering external waste containers with tight fitting lids that are resistant to the entry of animals and pests
    • If the establishment is located near a source of contamination, such as sanitary landfills, oil refineries, chemical plants, paper and steel mills, the air intakes are located away from those sources and the incoming air passes through filters to remove the contaminants

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • you assess the adjoining land for potential sources of contamination that may drift on your land or into your facility where you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables. Potential sources of contamination from the adjoining land include:
      • livestock, dust, or feathers
      • crop production inputs, such as agricultural chemicals, soil amendments, fertilizers, pulp sludge; and
      • non-agricultural activities that contribute to air, water, or soil pollution (for example, industrial activities, roadside debris, road salt)
    • if you identify sources of contamination from the adjoining land, depending on the source, you:
      • install fences or create a buffer zone around the land where you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables
      • choose a different location to grow and harvest the fresh fruits or vegetables
      • seek expert advice to determine whether the adjoining land may contaminate the fresh fruits or vegetables

Paragraph 57(a): Sanitary design of the facility or conveyance

  • The interior of any facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter a food animal is designed to:
    • prevent the accumulation of substances that present a risk of contamination of the food, including dust, dirt, micro-organisms, and food particles
    • permit effective maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing
      Examples:
      • Where appropriate, the wall, floor and ceiling joints are sealed to prevent contamination and facilitate cleaning
      • You seal hollow, hard-to-reach areas to prevent build-up of contaminants
      • You have easy access to allow for activities related to maintenance, cleaning, or sanitizing
      • The locations of floor drains are readily accessible for maintenance, cleaning and, if applicable, sanitizing

Subparagraph 57(b)(i): Size and layout of the facility or conveyance

  • The interior of the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is designed, constructed and maintained:
    • so that its size and layout is adequate to accommodate the activity being conducted and the equipment used in that activity
      Examples:
      • There is adequate space between equipment, employees and the various activities, such as between food preparation and pest control
      • In addition, if you slaughter food animals:
        • the food animals are not over-crowded in the holding pens
        • the food animals can move easily without coercion
        • in the design of the equipment, you take into account specific needs, such as sight-line of the species being slaughtered
      • For additional information on establishment design for the slaughter of food animals, refer to the Guideline for humane care and handling of food animals at slaughter

Subparagraph 57(b)(ii): Prevention of the entry of insects, rodents and other vermin

  • The interior of the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is designed, constructed and maintained:
    • to prevent the entry of insects, rodents and other vermin
      Examples:
      • The roof, air intakes, foundations, walls, floors, doors and windows prevent the entry of insects, birds, rodents, and other vermin
      • You equip windows with close-fitting screens
      • You ensure that doors are tight fitting and self-closing

Subparagraphs 57(b)(iii) and (iv): Floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors

  • The interior of the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is designed, constructed and maintained
    • so that the floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors, if they present a risk of contamination to the food, are:
      • smooth
      • non-absorbent; and
      • impervious to moisture
        Examples:
        • If there is a risk of contamination to the food
          • the surfaces are free from pitting, indentations, cracks, crevices, and ledges
          • the walls and ceilings are made of non-absorbent materials so that their surfaces support cleaning and sanitation
          • you seal, with a smooth finish, the joints between the walls and the floor or ceiling
  • Any floors are designed, constructed and maintained to provide or permit good drainage, except if there is no risk of liquid accumulation
    Examples:
    • The floors are sloped appropriately to let liquids drain to trapped outlets, and away from the cleaner areas
    • The floor drains are adequate in number, size, and location

Paragraph 57(c): Materials used in construction and maintenance

  • The interior of the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is constructed of and maintained using materials that are:
    • suitable for their intended use
    • appropriate for the food and activity being conducted
    • appropriate for the food animal and the activity being conducted
    • durable
    • capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, sanitizing
    • free from noxious constituents
      Examples:
      • Where appropriate, the materials are:
        • non-absorbent to limit the accumulation of biological hazards
        • durable, such as stainless steel, to prevent chipping and cracking

Paragraph 57(d): Construction of the facility or conveyance

  • The interior of the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is of sound construction and in good repair
    Examples:
    • You regularly check the facility or conveyance to make sure it is in good condition
    • There is no water leaking from overhead pipes and no debris falling from the ceiling
    • The drains are functioning properly and do not cause pooling of water
    • Any curtains used for separating rooms are in good condition
    • In the case of a facility or conveyance where food animals are slaughtered
      • the areas for receiving, handling and holding food animals awaiting slaughter are of sound construction and in good repair
      • the gates and pens do not have protruding pieces or sharp edges that could injure food animals
      • there are no changes in elevation that could cause food animals to trip or slip

Sub-section 58(1): Separate area for handling of food animals to be slaughtered

  • The establishment where you slaughter food animals has separate areas for:
    • keeping, examining, and inspecting food animals
    • segregating food animals:
      • of different species
      • that are sick or injured with other sick or injured food animals
      • that a veterinary inspector or an inspector under the supervision of a veterinary inspector has condemned and determined that any meat product that would be derived from them would not be edible
    • isolating food animals:
      • that are sick or injured if, because of their condition, they present a risk to or require protection from other food animals
      • that may cause suffering, injury or death to other food animals because of their nature, temperament, gender, weight, age or any other cause
      • that, because of their condition, present a risk to or require protection from other food animals, and that a veterinary inspector or an inspector under the supervision of a veterinary inspector has condemned and determined that any meat product that would be derived from them would not be edible
    • holding food animals that show a deviation from normal behaviour, physiology, or appearance
      Examples:
      • When designing your establishment, you consider the following for separate areas for holding food animals:
        • adequate pen design, number, and space to prevent overcrowding
        • holding areas for the segregation or isolation of food animals, where applicable
      • You identify pens that are used for holding sick or injured food animals
    • humanely killing food animals that a veterinary inspector or an inspector under the supervision of a veterinary inspector has condemned and determined that any meat product that would be derived from the food animals would not be edible
      Examples:
      • When designing your establishment, you consider the following for a separate area where food animals will be humanely killed:
        • whether you will be able to perform humane killing of the condemned food animal:
          • safely
          • while preventing the spread of infectious agents; and
          • such that it is not witnessed by other food animals

Sub-section 58(2): Enclosed areas for handling inedible meat products

  • The establishment where you slaughter food animals has an enclosed area for handling of inedible meat products
    Examples:
    • When designing the establishment, you consider the following for the enclosed area to be used for handling inedible meat products:
      • choosing a location such that inedible meat products only flow progressively away from the cleaner areas and do not permit their return into the edible area
        • airflow and drainage are directed away from the edible meat product area
        • there is sufficient space to segregate different inedible meat products, such as those that contain specified risk material
      • it is limited in access to only designated employees
    • For more information, refer to the material Preventing cross-contamination

Sub-section 58(3): Secure footing for food animals in the establishment

  • The floors, ramps, gangways and chutes that are used by the food animals in the establishment:
    • provide secure footing
      Examples:
      • You design, construct, and maintain floors, ramps, gangways, and chutes such that they:
        • are sturdy and drain properly
        • are non-slippery
        • provide secure footing for the species of food animals you slaughter
        • scored or have textured flooring, such as the stamping with diamond or square patterns for cattle; and
        • are made of slats
      • For additional information on secure footing for floors, ramps, gangways and chutes, refer to the Guideline for humane care and handling of food animals at slaughter
  • You ensure that the floors, ramps, gangways and chutes that are used by the food animals in the establishment:
    • do not present a risk of injury to the food animal during movement
      Examples:
      • You design, construct, and maintain floors, ramps, gangways, and chutes such that they:
        • have gates and pushers that avoid injury or suffering of food animals
        • have sides sufficiently high to prevent escape of or injury to food animals
        • are adjustable to accommodate transport vehicles of various heights without creating gaps between loading docks and transport vehicles; nor between the sides of the ramps and the floor of the transport vehicles
        • facilitate movement without coercion, bunching, or injury
        • if applicable, have an appropriate slope (for example, a maximum of 20 degrees)
      • For additional information on preventing the risk of injury to food animals from floors, ramps, gangways, and chutes, refer to the Guideline for humane care and handling of food animals at slaughter

Sub-section 58(4): Stations for inspections, examinations, and screenings

  • The establishment where you slaughter food animals has inspection stations at fixed locations and in numbers specified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for post-mortem inspection
  • If you have a licence and are authorized to conduct a post-mortem examination, the establishment has stations for post-mortem examinations
  • If you have a licence and are authorized to conduct a post-mortem defect management program, the establishment has stations for post-mortem screenings

Section 59: Control of movement within, into, and out of the facility or conveyance

  • The facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is designed, constructed, and maintained in a manner so that the movement of persons and things within, into, or out of it is controlled
    Examples:
    • You limit access within, into and out of the facility or conveyance
    • When employees move from one incompatible area to another–such as from the inedible area in a slaughter establishment to the evisceration room–you ensure they change boots and coverings
    • You do not allow persons to move throughout the facility or conveyance unnecessarily
    • You are aware of and can account for all visitors and contractors who enter and leave the facility or conveyance
    • Employees know to be alert for unwelcomed visitors and know what to do when the encounter such persons
    • When you move ingredients, finished food, chemicals, inedible meat products or packaging materials, you follow established routes and times to move them
  • The movement of persons and things within, into, or out of the facility or conveyance does not present a risk of contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • The facility or conveyance is designed so that:
      • the flow of incoming ingredients, food animals, persons, chemicals, packaging materials, and equipment does not pose a risk of contamination to the food
      • the ingredients, finished food and packaging material are not at risk of contamination when they are moved from one area to the next

Section 60: Separation of incompatible activities

  • You use physical or other effective means to separate incompatible activities in order to prevent contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • You separate the following incompatible activities:
      • cleaning and sanitizing activities from food preparation activities
      • the handling of raw food from the handling of ready-to-eat food
      • the shipping of finished food from the receiving of incoming ingredients
      • storage of inedible products and waste from food preparation areas
      • living quarters from any food preparation areas
      • areas where food animals are handled from food preparation areas
      • laboratories that conduct microbiological and pathogen testing from food preparation areas
      • handling food with allergens from handling food without allergens
    • You use positive air pressure to direct air flow from highly sensitive areas, such as aseptic rooms, to less sensitive areas, such as raw ingredient handling rooms

    Furthermore, If you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • store starter products and manure piles away from water sources, fresh fruit or vegetable production sites and harvested fresh fruits or vegetables
    • wash agricultural chemical applicators away from water sources, fresh fruit or vegetable production areas and harvested fresh fruits or vegetables
    • separate growing and harvesting activities from animal farming activities; and
    • respect the post-interval timeframe between the application of agronomic inputs and harvest of the fresh fruits or vegetables

Section 61: Separation of food

  • You use physical or other effective means to separate food from:
  • You use physical or other effective means to separate food from:
    • any food that does not meet the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the SFCR
      Examples:
      • You keep food that is intended only for export in a separate area, particularly when the requirements of the destination country do not meet those for domestic sale
      • You keep food that is intended only for intra-provincial trade in a separate area when provincial requirements do not meet those of the SFCA and its Regulations
  • You use physical or other effective means to separate food from:

Section 62: Control of food that is unsafe, returned, or non-compliant with the SFCA or the SFCR

  • When any food arrives at the establishment that presents a risk of injury to human health or that does not meet the requirements of the SFCA or SFCR, you:
    • identify the food as unsafe
    • place the food in a designated area within the establishment; and
    • take any other control measures necessary to prevent the contamination of other food in the establishment
      Examples:
      • You identify the following food and place them in a designated area:
        • food that has been subject to a recall
        • food that requires further processing due to hazards, and are labelled as such; and
        • food that is "defective" or "suspect" due to hazards
  • When any food that meets the requirements of section 22, which relates to return to Canada of exported food, returns to your establishment after it has been exported:
    • identify the food as such
    • place the food in a designated area within the establishment; and
    • take any other control measures necessary to prevent the contamination of other food in the establishment

Sub-section 63(1): Natural or artificial lighting used within the establishment

  • In the establishment, you use natural or artificial lighting that is appropriate to the food or the food animal that you intend to slaughter
    Examples:
    • You use natural or artificial lighting that:
      • when the colour of food is assessed, the lighting does not alter the natural colour of the food
      • does not cause the nutrients in the food to deteriorate
      • does not affect the quality of the food
      • does not result in the production of natural toxins in the food
      • minimizes stress or discomfort of the food animals
    • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Lighting in an establishment
  • In the establishment, you use natural or artificial lighting that is appropriate to the activities being conducted
    Examples:
    • You review the placement and intensity of lighting in your establishment to confirm that it is appropriate to effectively
      • operate equipment
      • prepare food
      • slaughter food animals
      • identify any potential defects in food
      • conduct inspection, examination, and screening activities
      • examine your establishment or food for evidence of visible contamination
      • allow for cleaning and, if applicable, sanitizing of the establishment, facility or conveyance, conveyance or equipment

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • ensure the overhead lighting as well as the lighting on the conveyances or equipment used during harvest the fresh is sufficient for the activities being conducted

Sub-section 63(2): Light fixtures in the establishment

  • Any light fixtures in the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter a food animal can withstand repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of a food, repeated sanitizing
    Examples:
    • You ensure that light fixtures in your establishment are:
      • constructed from material that can be repeatedly cleaned and, if necessary, sanitized; and
      • installed in a manner that permits for routine cleaning

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • light fixtures found on the conveyance or equipment that you use for harvesting the fresh fruits or vegetables are included
  • The light fixture does not present a risk of contamination in the event of breakage
    Examples:
    • You shield light fixtures with safety covers to contain broken material
    • Where possible, you use light fixtures constructed from shatter-resistant materials

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • the light fixtures on your conveyance or equipment used in the harvesting of fresh fruits or vegetables have safety covers or are constructed of shatter resistant materials

Section 64: Ventilation system in the facility or conveyance

  • The facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter a food animal, is equipped with a ventilation system that:
    • provides natural or mechanical ventilation with sufficient air exchange to bring in clean air and remove unclean air and odours that might affect the food
    • are easily accessible and, if necessary, are able to be properly disassembled for cleaning maintenance and inspection
    • are capable of withstanding repeated cleaning; and
    • function as intended
      Examples:
      • The ventilations system in the facility or conveyance:
        • prevent the accumulation of heat, steam, condensation or dust
        • is equipped with close-fitting screens or filters to prevent the entry of dust, smoke, steam, odours, and contaminated air
        • provides adequate ventilation in holding areas for the welfare of the food animals awaiting slaughter
      • For additional information on the use of ventilation systems to reduce condensation, refer to the guidance material on Condensation

Sub-section 65(1): Appropriate temperature and humidity in a facility or conveyance

  • You maintain the temperature and humidity in the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food at a level that is appropriate to the food and the activities being conducted
    Examples:
    • When necessary, you maintain production areas at a temperature that prevents the growth of bacteria
    • You store food that requires refrigeration at 4°C or less
    • You store food that requires freezing at −18°C or less
    • Where condensation poses a risk to food safety, you maintain the humidity at a level that is low enough to prevent condensation
    • You regularly check temperature and humidity levels to ensure that they are maintained at a level that is appropriate to the food
    • You place food in refrigerated or freezer storage in a manner that does not restrict air flow, preventing the food from reaching the required temperature
    • Refer to the guidance material on Condensation for examples of methods to ensure your temperature and humidity system will mitigate risks of contamination to your food caused by condensation
  • You maintain the temperature and humidity in the facility or conveyance where you slaughter a food animal at a level that is appropriate to the food animals and the activities being conducted
    Examples:
    • The design of the facility or conveyance provides the necessary temperature and humidity controls to avoid distress or death of the food animals. For instance, you install shelters with fans in conveyances where animals are held in crates
    • For additional information on temperature and humidity levels that are appropriate to various species of food animals, refer to the Guideline for humane care and handling of food animals at slaughter

Sub-section 65(2): Conditions of heating, cooling and humidity-control systems

  • If the facility or conveyance where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals, is equipped with a heating, cooling or humidity-control system, the system:
    • if necessary to prevent contamination of a food, is equipped with instruments to control, indicate and record the temperature and humidity levels
    • is accessible and is able to be disassembled if it necessary for it to be cleaned, maintained and inspected
    • can withstand repeated cleaning
    • functions as intended
      Examples:
      • You place a recording thermometer in the refrigerated storage area that can monitor, records and control the temperature
      • To permit cleaning, the system's ducts have cleanout doors so that you can access the interior
      • The system is made of material that is compatible with the chemicals and method used for cleaning
      • The capacity and design of the system is adequate for the conditions of the facility or conveyance
      • The system's sensing device accurately measures the conditions in the facility. The device also activates and de-activates the system to maintain the temperature and humidity at the levels you have set

Sub-section 66(1): Removal and disposal of contaminated materials and waste

  • You have means to remove and dispose of contaminated material and waste from your establishment
  • If necessary to prevent contamination of the food, the establishment is equipped with drainage, sewage, and plumbing systems that function as intended
    Examples:
    • The drainage and sewage systems can accommodate the volume and type of effluent produced in your establishment, allowing for constant fluid removal with no pooling
    • Drainage and sewage systems are equipped with traps and vents to prevent backflow
    • For conveyances where fish is handled, such as fishing vessels, the vessel is equipped with a drainage system to prevent discharge of untreated sewage into the surrounding waters
    • For additional information on the prevention of backflow in drainage, sewage and plumbing systems, refer to the guidance material on Preventing water backflow
    • In addition, if you slaughter:
      • food animals, you ensure the collection, sanitary handling, storage and disposal of inedible products, for example, feathers, hides, hair
      • bovines, you ensure the collection, sanitary handling, storage and disposal of specified risk material, including solids recovered from waste water, is done according to the requirements of the Animal Health Regulations

Sub-section 66(2): Frequency and manner of removal and disposal

  • You remove and dispose of contaminated materials and waste at a sufficient frequency and in a manner that prevents contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • You remove waste and contaminated materials at a set frequency, or more often if necessary so that they do not overflow
    • You remove contaminated materials and waste from the establishment using predetermined routes
      • You construct effluent or sewage lines such that they do not pass directly over or through production areas, unless you take measures to prevent risk of contamination of the food
      • You only allow designated employees to remove contaminated materials and waste. These employees wear appropriate clothing, such as overalls, gloves and boots, when removing the contaminated materials and waste
      • For fishing or harvesting vessels, you dispose of sewage in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the surrounding waters
    • For additional information refer to the guidance material on Preventing cross-contamination

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • dispose inedible plant material, fertilizer bags, and agricultural chemicals at a set frequency
    • dispose waste from portable toilets and outdoor facilities away from the growing and harvest site
    • cover waste containers and keep them away from your water source as well as the growing and harvesting site
    • do not reuse empty agricultural chemical containers
    • do not leave culled fresh fruits or vegetables to rot near the production site

Sub-section 67(1): Hand cleaning stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms and change rooms

  • If necessary to permit hygienic practices and prevent conditions which may result in the contamination of food, the establishment is equipped with
    • hand cleaning and sanitizing stations
    • lavatories
    • showers
    • drinking water stations
    • break rooms; or
    • change rooms
  • If you have hand cleaning and sanitizing stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms, and change rooms, they are
    • adequately equipped
      Examples:
      • The change rooms have storage for street clothing that is separate from storage for protective clothing to be worn during food production
      • The lavatories have toilet paper
      • The sanitizing stations for hands and footwear are at the appropriate chemical concentration for their intended purpose and are approved for use in food establishments
      • Hand-washing notices are posted in lavatories and at the entrances to food production areas

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • ensure there is hand sanitizer, soap, or wipes, and that there are receptacles to collect wastewater
  • If you have hand cleaning and sanitizing stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms, and change rooms in the establishment, they are
    • appropriate in number and size for the number of persons using them
      Examples:
      • There are sufficient hand washing and sanitizing stations so that employees can wash their hands as often as needed. The lavatories have sinks of a size that permit easy and effective hand washing
  • If you have hand cleaning and sanitizing stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms, and change rooms in the establishment, they are
    • located in the establishment so that they are readily accessible to the persons using them
      Examples:
      • The hand washing and sanitizing stations are located at entrances to production areas, in close proximity to the lavatories, and anywhere else deemed necessary
  • If you have hand cleaning and sanitizing stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms, and change rooms in the establishment, they are
    • capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of a food, sanitizing
      Examples:
      • The hand cleaning stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms and change rooms:
        • are made of materials that are durable
        • have surfaces that are smooth, do not flake, and are non-absorbent

Sub-section 67(2): Specifics for hand cleaning and sanitizing stations

  • The hand cleaning and sanitizing stations permit effective cleaning of hands
    Examples:
    • The hand cleaning stations
      • provide water at a temperature that is
        • comfortable for the hands
        • warm enough to soften residues on hands and allow the soap to produce the lather needed to remove waste and contaminants
      • are equipped with
        • liquid soap
        • equipment or supplies that can dry hands in a sanitary manner; and
        • waste receptacles
    • The water pressure is strong enough to allow for dirt and contaminants to be easily removed from the hands
    • Where hand cleaning and sanitizing stations do not use water, you ensure they are equipped with a solution that allows for the effective removal of waste and contaminants

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • the hand cleaning and sanitizing stations are equipped with
      • water that is comfortable to wash hands, soap and paper towels; or
      • water, paper towels and hand sanitizer; or
      • hand wipes and hand sanitizer

Sub-section 67(3): Location and maintenance of lavatories

  • The lavatories are located and maintained so that they do not present a risk of contamination of a food
    Examples:
    • You establish an anteroom or an outer foyer between the lavatories and the areas where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter food animals

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • portable or non-portable toilets are on-site; or if they are located off-site, transportation to them is provided

Sub-section 68: Areas for inspector's use

  • At the request of the inspector, you provide them with an area to exercise their powers and perform their duties and functions under the SFCA. You ensure that the area is
    • readily accessible
    • appropriately equipped; and
    • appropriate in size
      Examples:
      • The area where the inspector to exercise their powers and perform their duties and functions
        • can be accessed safely, is unobstructed, and is conveniently located
        • is appropriately equipped such that it has
          • adequate lighting for proper inspection
          • an electrical outlet
          • an inspection table, platform, or rack, as appropriate; and
          • a means for waste disposal
        • has sufficient space for the inspector to carry out their tasks with ease and without risk of personal injury

Section 69: Availability of office, lockers and cabinets for inspectors in meat products and processed egg products establishments

  • If you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label, meat products or processed egg products, within the establishment, you provide the inspector with
    • a furnished office to exercise their powers and perform their duties and functions under the SFCA. You ensure that the furnished office is
      • readily accessible
      • appropriately equipped and
      • appropriate in size
    • lockers and cabinets that are
      • readily accessible
      • appropriate for the protection and storing of the inspector's equipment and documents
    • access to a lockable storage facility or equipment that is appropriate for the protection, preservation and storing of samples
      Examples:
      • The office can be accessed safely, is unobstructed, and is conveniently located
      • The office has
        • a desk and chair
        • lighting, heating, and cooling capabilities
        • an electrical outlet
        • a means for waste disposal; and
        • internet access
      • The office is sufficient in size and its furnishings and amenities are sufficient in quantity to accommodate the number of inspectors expected to be on location at the same time
  • In addition to the above, if your establishment is used to slaughter food animals
    • the furnished office is private; and
    • the inspector also has access, within the establishment, to
      • a lavatory
      • a shower; and
      • a change room

Sub-sections 70(1) and (2): Water, steam and ice that may come into contact with a food

  • Any water that may contact food is
    • potable, unless there is no risk of contamination of the food if it is not potable
    • protected against contamination
      Examples:
      • You use a municipal water source for any water that may come into contact with the food
      • If you use water other than municipal water, you collect water samples and have them tested by an accredited laboratory to determine whether the water is potable
      • If you use recirculated or reclaimed water, you treat, monitor, and maintain it to prevent contamination of the food
      • You make sure that the seawater used to rinse is not a source of contamination
      • You make sure that the water distribution system within the establishment is enclosed and protected from contaminants
      • If you use a well, the well head is protected and securely covered
      • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Water for use in the preparation of food

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • take into consideration the water source, its intended use, and its method of delivery
        • examples of water source include: municipal, well, ponds, dugouts fed by groundwater, rainwater, lakes
        • examples of 'intended use' include: irrigation, agricultural chemical or commercial fertilizer application
        • examples of methods of delivery include: overhead, spray, drip, trickle, furrow
      • use potable water in the final rinse to remove any surface contaminant before placing the fresh fruits and vegetables in the package
  • Any steam or ice that may come into contact with the food, unless it does not present a risk of contamination of the food, is
    • potable; and
    • protected against contamination
      Examples:
      • When you store ice in an ice machine, you ensure that the machine doors are kept closed when the machine is not in use

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

      • the ice you use to remove field heat or to package the fruits or vegetables does not contaminate the fresh fruits or vegetables

Sub-section 70(3): Cross-connections between water systems

  • Any systems that supply water that might come into contact with food are not cross-connected with any other system unless you take measures to eliminate any risk of contamination to the food that may result from the cross-connection
    Examples:
    • If there are cross-connections between systems
      • they are only between potable water systems that are protected against contamination, or water systems that do not present a risk of contamination of food
      • there are measures in place, such as filtration or ultraviolet lights, to eliminate the risk of contamination of the food
    • Hoses or taps have back-flow or back-siphonage prevention devices
    • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Preventing water backflow

Sub-section 70(4): Water given to food animals

  • Water or other sources of hydration that you provide to food animals that are intended to be slaughtered in the establishment do not present a risk of
    • injury to the health of the food animal, or
    • contamination to any meat products that may be derived from the food animal
      Examples:
      • You only give potable water to the food animals or
        • You give the food animals non-potable water, if you can demonstrate that it does not present a risk contamination of the meat product derived from them

Sub-section 71(1): Supply of water, steam and ice

  • As appropriate to the food and activity you are conducting, and if applicable to the food animal intended for slaughter, the establishment is supplied with
    • water that is adequate in quantity, temperature, pH and pressure
    • steam that is adequate in quantity and pressure; and
    • ice that is adequate in quantity
      Examples:
      • The water you use is sufficient to
        • prepare food, such as washing, rinsing, growing and harvesting
        • clean and sanitize the facility or conveyance; and
        • allow all animals to hydrate themselves as needed
      • You use pH water filters to adjust the water pH to a level that is adequate for the food and for the cleaning products you use for sanitation
      • The steam you use is sufficient to
        • clean and sanitize conveyances or equipment; and
        • prepare food, such as running retorts or other processing equipment
      • The ice you use is sufficient to
        • use in the preparation of food; and
        • keep cool samples that are to be sent to the laboratory for analysis

Sub-section 71(2): Treatment of water, steam or ice

  • Any treatment of water, steam or ice that you use is applied in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • The water treatment chemicals are appropriate for the food and their intended use, and you use them in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions
    • The water filtration systems are cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of organic materials and bacterial growth

5.0 Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents

SFCR: Sections 50 to 52

Rationale

To prevent the contamination of the food that you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label it is crucial that the establishment and any conveyance or equipment be kept clean and in a sanitary condition and that any pest be prevented from entering the establishment. However, if you are not careful, the manner in which you clean and sanitize the establishment, the type of sanitizer or non-food chemical agents that you use and the manner in which you prevent the entry of pests into your establishment can be also be a source of contamination to the food. In addition to the above, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, it is important that the agronomic inputs you use are suitable for their intended use and the way in which you use them do not pose of a risk of contaminating the fresh fruits or vegetables.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 50(1): Clean and sanitary establishment, conveyances or equipment

  • You keep the establishment clean and in a sanitary condition
  • You keep any conveyance or equipment in the establishment used for manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling of food or slaughtering of food animals clean and in a sanitary condition
    Examples:
    • The establishment and conveyance or equipment are free from the accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue, grease and other debris that may contaminate the food
    • You visually inspect the establishment and conveyances or equipment to confirm that they are clean
    • You conduct environmental swabbing of the establishment and conveyances or equipment to test for the presence of pathogens
    • With respect to the slaughter of food animals, you clean and disinfect holding pens to reduce any source of pathogens that could contaminate meat products derived from a food animal

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • you visually inspect the field to make sure that it is free from debris and any foreign material that may contaminate the fresh fruits or vegetables
    • you make sure that the surfaces of conveyances or equipment used in the growing or harvesting of fresh fruits or vegetables are cleaned and, if necessary, sanitized in case they have been soiled by birds or other wildlife
    • prior to use, you clean and, if necessary, sanitize
      • the tools used for planting, cultivating, growing, harvesting, field packaging of fresh fruits or vegetables or from trailers or
      • the wagons used to move the fresh fruits or vegetables on the farm

Subsection 50(2): The cleaning and sanitizing activities do not present a risk of contamination to the food

  • You clean and sanitize the establishment as well as any conveyance or equipment in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food
    Examples:
    • You follow the manufacturer's instructions so that the sanitation chemicals are applied at the correct concentration, for the correct contact time, and removed or rinsed as required
    • You remove unprotected food and packaging material and protect the food contact surfaces before you begin cleaning or sanitizing
    • You clean equipment, including containers used for contaminated materials and waste in a designated area away from food preparation
    • You check that the cleaning and sanitation was effective by visual inspection and chemical residue or microbiological testing of the food contact surfaces and the finished food
    • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Cleaning and sanitation program

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • clean and sanitize the conveyance or equipment in an area that will not contaminate the fresh fruits or vegetables in field

Section 51: Presence of animals in the establishment and facility or conveyance

  • You protect the establishment against the entry of any animal that presents a risk of contamination to the food
  • In the case of any land that forms part of your establishment, you only use measures that are reasonably practicable to prevent the entry of those animals onto the land
    Examples:
    • The roof, air intakes, foundation, walls, floors, drains, doors and windows of your facility or conveyance prevent the entry of animals, such as insects, rodents, birds or other vermin
    • You detect and immediately eliminate any pests in your facility
    • You use pest control measures that will discourage pests from harbouring
      • in or around the facility; and
      • on any land that forms part of your establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food
    • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Pest control

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • you use nets, fences or sound devices to deter animals that may contaminate the fresh fruits or vegetables during the growing, harvesting or field packing
    • you eliminate or reduce the areas around the field where pests can harbour, such as junk piles, long grass, bushes, garbage, and unused machinery
  • You do not allow any animal into the facility or conveyance unless the animal is:
    • a food that is intended to be manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged or labelled in the facility or conveyance
    • a food animal that is intended to be slaughtered in the facility or conveyance regardless of whether the meat product that may be derived from it is intended to be exported or sent or conveyed from one province to another; or
    • an animal that is intended to be used in the manufacturing or preparing of a food in the facility or conveyance
      Examples:
      • You allow live lobsters or crabs, edible insects, clams into the facility or conveyance because you intend on manufacturing, preparing, storing packaging or labelling them as food
      • You allow bees in a greenhouse because you are using them for pollination
      • You allow bees in the facility or conveyance where you are using them to produce honey
  • Any measures that you take to comply with section 51 above, which relates to protection from entry of animals into the establishment, do not present a risk of contamination of a food that you are manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling
    Examples:
    • You use pest control products and devices in a manner that does not contaminate the food
    • You regularly check and empty any pest control devices in manner that will not contaminate the food
    • You do not use animals as a means of pest control in your establishment

Section 52: Identification, suitability and use of sanitizers, agronomic inputs and non-food chemical agents

  • You properly and clearly identify all sanitizers, agronomic inputs and non-food chemical agents that are in the establishment
    Examples:
    • If labels or tags are used, they are clear and legible
    • You colour code the containers so you can differentiate them
    • If you transfer any sanitizers, agronomic inputs or non-food chemical agents into different containers, you identify each container
  • The sanitizers, agronomic inputs and non-food chemical agents are suitable for their intended use and do not present a risk of contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • The oil that you use to lubricate equipment that comes into contact with food is food grade
    • The sanitizers and cleaners that you use on food contact surfaces are suitable for use on food contact surfaces and would not contaminate the food
    • You use non-food chemicals that are appropriate for their application. For example, use sanitizers to kill pathogens, and use cleaning products to remove dirt, food residue and other substances from food contact surfaces

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • use agricultural chemicals that are approved for use on the crop on which you are applying them
    • ensure that mulch and row cover materials are clean, free of excrement, heavy metals, glass, metal, wood preservatives or agricultural chemicals
    • use commercial fertilizers, pulp sludge and soil amendments that do not contain heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic or lead
  • You handle and use sanitizers, agronomic inputs and non-food chemical agents
    • in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food; and
    • according to any manufacturer's instructions
      Examples:
      • You use sanitizers, cleaners and disinfectants on your food contact surfaces such that there is no contact of the sanitizer, cleaner or disinfectant, including residual contact, with the food
      • You follow the manufacturer's instructions on contact time, temperature and concentration for sanitizers and non-food chemical agents

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • use properly composted manure on the field where you are growing the fresh fruits or vegetables
      • use the correct application interval for agricultural chemicals, manure and compost to ensure there is sufficient withdrawal time before harvest
      • follow the manufacturer's instructions on the time interval and concentration for agricultural chemicals

6.0 Conveyances or equipment

SFCR: Sections 53 to 55

Rationale

Proper use of conveyance or equipment minimizes the risk of food contamination as well as undue stress, discomfort, harm, or injury to food animals. The use of faulty, inappropriate, or poorly installed conveyances or equipment to handle, treat, or process a food or handle a food animal may result in leaching of harmful chemicals, suffering of restrained food animals, and improper cleaning and sanitizing, among others.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For more best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Paragraphs 53(a) and (e): Use and function of conveyances or equipment

  • The conveyances or equipment that you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food
    • are appropriate to the food and activity you conduct; and
    • function as intended
      Examples:
      • Before using a conveyance or equipment, you verify that it is functioning as intended by the manufacturer
      • If you use the same piece of equipment for more than one type of food, you ensure that the equipment is appropriate for each type of food
  • In addition, if you slaughter a food animal, the conveyances or equipment that you use to slaughter them
    • are appropriate to the food animal and the activity you conduct; and
    • function as intended
      Examples:
      • Before using a conveyance or equipment to slaughter a food animal, you verify that it is functioning as intended by the manufacturer
      • You adjust the equipment to the size and/or type of food animal you are slaughtering

Paragraph 53(b): Design, construction, and maintenance of conveyances or equipment

  • The conveyances or equipment that you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are designed, constructed, and maintained to prevent contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • The conveyances or equipment you use are designed, constructed and maintained to
      • where necessary, exhaust to the outside of the facility to prevent excessive condensation
      • where necessary, permit proper drainage from the equipment and, where applicable, are connected directly to drains
      • have no internal horizontal ledges that have hidden or hard-to-clean areas
      • have protective shields, lids or covers to prevent contamination
      • avoid contaminating the food if there were failure of any parts
      • permit effective cleaning to prevent contamination from dust
    • You install equipment with sufficient space around it to permit its proper operation, maintenance, and cleaning
    • You perform preventive maintenance on conveyances or equipment you use to make sure the equipment continues to function as intended and to reduce the risk of contamination

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • maintain equipment such as hand-held cutting and trimming tools in good condition
    • check that the harvesting equipment for broken, damaged, corroded parts
    • repair or do not use any broken or damaged equipment

Paragraph 53(c): Materials used in construction and maintenance of conveyances or equipment

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals is constructed of and maintained using materials that are suitable for their intended use
    Examples:
    • The conveyance or equipment is made of material that is not affected by the food. For instance, salt or food acids may have a negative effect on some materials
    • You repair the conveyance or equipment using spare parts that are approved or recommended by the manufacturer
  • If the material used in the construction or maintenance of conveyances or equipment presents a risk of contamination to the food, the material is
    • corrosion-resistant
    • durable
    • capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, sanitizing, unless the equipment is intended for single-use; and
    • free of noxious constituents
      Examples:
      • You avoid using the following material
        • porous substances such as cast iron or wood, because they are difficult to clean and may harbour biological hazards
        • galvanized material to handle acidic food, because the acid reacts with the zinc coating to form salts that can be absorbed by the human body–excessive consumption of these salts may be harmful to consumers
        • lead-based paints as decoration or glaze on conveyances or equipment, because they could leach into the food
        • non-stick coatings, because they deteriorate after multiple uses–when scratched, the coating particles may contaminate the food, while the grooves formed may allow for biological hazards to grow

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

      • the light fixtures on conveyances or equipment that you use during harvest
        • are constructed of material that is shatterproof; or
        • are covered to prevent glass from falling onto the fresh fruits or vegetables

Paragraph 53(d): Instruments used to control, indicate, and record parameters

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are equipped with instruments to control, indicate and record any parameters that are necessary to prevent contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • As applicable, your conveyance or equipment has instruments that control, indicate, and record parameters that
      • accurately measure the addition of ingredients, preservatives or nutrients and additives
      • detect metal fragments based on type of food, target metal, and anticipated size
      • record critical processing times and temperatures, and
      • are specialized in measuring the pH and sugar concentrations, such as pH meters and refractometers

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

Paragraph 53(f): Accessibility for cleaning and sanitizing, maintenance and inspection of conveyances or equipment

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are accessible for cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and inspection
  • If necessary, the conveyance or equipment can be disassembled for cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and inspection
    Examples:
    • You are able to access the parts of the conveyance or equipment that come into contact with food or food contact surfaces
    • You install and arrange your conveyances or equipment such that you can easily reach them and have enough room to clean them
    • You are able to disassemble the conveyance or equipment for cleaning and sanitizing
    • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Cleaning and sanitation program

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • the equipment that you use to grow or harvest, such as the blade or cutting head of a harvester or cultivator/sprayer panels, is easily accessible for cleaning

Paragraph 53(g): Use, maintenance, and calibration of conveyances or equipment

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are used, maintained and, if necessary, calibrated
    • according to the manufacturer's instructions; and
    • in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food
      Examples:
      • A qualified employee or a service contractor calibrates the conveyance or equipment
      • You do not conduct maintenance and food preparation in the same room and at the same time
      • You move the conveyance or equipment from the food preparation room to the maintenance area to perform maintenance and calibration activities

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • calibrate the conveyances or equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions and, if required, before every use. Examples of conveyances or equipment that you may need to calibrate include:
        • agricultural chemical applicators
        • seed treaters
        • granular/liquid applicators, and
        • manure or fertilizer spreaders

Paragraph 53(h): Food contact surfaces of conveyances or equipment

  • The surfaces of the conveyances or equipment that may come into contact with food and which may present a risk of contamination of the food are
    • smooth
    • free from pitting, cracks and flakes; and
    • non-absorbent
      Examples:
      • You avoid using the following material
        • porous substances such as cast iron or wood, because they are difficult to clean and may harbour biological hazards
        • galvanized material to handle acidic food, because the acid reacts with the zinc coating to form salts that can be absorbed by the human body – excessive consumption of these salts may be harmful to consumers
        • non-stick coatings, because they deteriorate after multiple uses – when scratched, the coating particles may contaminate the food, while the grooves formed may allow for biological hazards to grow

Section 54: Conveyances or equipment used for handling contaminated materials, waste or other inedible things

  • The conveyances or equipment that you use for handling any contaminated materials, any waste, or any other inedible things, if they come into contact with those materials, waste and things:
    • are only used for that purpose
    • are identified as being reserved for that purpose; and
    • meet the applicable requirements found in section 53 above pertaining to conveyances or equipment that are used for manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling food or slaughtering of food animals
      Examples:
      • For the conveyances or equipment that you use for handling contaminated material, waste or other things
        • you identify them for that purpose by labelling and/or colour coding
        • employees are aware of the system used to identify equipment reserved for handling contaminated materials, waste, or other inedible things
        • If you slaughter bovine species, you have conveyances or equipment dedicated to specified risk material

Section 55: Restraining equipment for food animals

  • If you slaughter food animals, you use restraining equipment on animals while they are being handled and assessed, and during their ante-mortem examination and inspection

7.0 Loading, unloading, and storage

SFCR: Sections 72 to 74

Rationale

Receiving, loading, transportation, storing, and handling of food, non-food items, and food animals are inherent to the food production lifecycle. Failure to properly perform these activities may result in contamination of food by biological, chemical and physical hazards.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For more best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

In addition, key terms throughout the text have also been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 72: Conditions of conveyances used to convey food

  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at the establishment
    • is designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination of the food
      Examples:
      • The conveyance is capable of protecting the food from contamination coming from the exterior environment
      • In the case of bulk tankers, the conveyance is designed and constructed to permit complete drainage
      • Before you load or unload the food, you make sure that there are no defects or damaged parts that may present a risk of contamination to the food

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • you use conveyances that are covered or secured with a protective covering, such as a tarp or plastic sheeting
  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at the establishment
    • is capable of maintaining the temperature and humidity at levels that are appropriate for the food; and
    • if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, is equipped with instruments that control, indicate and record temperature and humidity levels
      Examples:
      • The conveyance is capable of maintaining refrigerated food at a temperature between 0°C and 4°C and frozen food at −18°C or less
      • If necessary, the conveyance also has instruments that can create records to demonstrate that the temperature is being maintained during transit
  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at your establishment does not contain
    • any animals, other than a food animal that is intended to be slaughtered in the facility or conveyance
    • pest control products, as defined in the Pest Control Products Act; or
    • any other material or substance that presents a risk of contamination of that food
      Examples:
      • You do not co-transport food with animals, pest control products or anything else that may contaminate the food
  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at your establishment
    • is clean and in a sanitary condition at the time of unloading or loading
      Examples:
      • You request information on the previous materials or things that were carried in the conveyance
      • If the conveyance was previously used to transport live animals, you request that the conveyance is sanitized to prevent contamination of the food and the transfer of live animal odours
      • Prior to unloading and loading food onto a conveyance
        • you request proof that the conveyance was cleaned and, if necessary, sanitized. Proof could include a cleaning certificate, wash ticket or letter of guarantee prior to loading or unloading the food
        • you visually inspect the conveyance for cleanliness
      • You do not load or unload the food if the conveyance is in poor or unsanitary condition
      • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Cleaning and sanitation program
  • The material that is used to construct and maintain the conveyance is suitable for the intended use of the conveyance
    Examples:
    • The conveyance is made of material that is not affected by the food or its packaging; food that are high in salt or acidic may have a negative effect on some materials
    • You repair the conveyance using spare parts that are approved or recommended by the manufacturer
  • If the material used to construct or maintain the conveyance presents a risk of contamination to the food, the material is:
    • durable
    • capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, sanitizing; and
    • free of noxious constituents
      Examples:
      • When the material could present a risk of contamination to the food, you avoid using the following material
        • porous surfaces, such as wood and cast iron, because they are difficult to clean and may harbour biological hazards
        • galvanized material to handle acidic food, because the acid reacts with the zinc coating to form salts that can be absorbed by the human body–excessive consumption of these salts may be harmful to consumers
        • lead-based paints on conveyances, because they could leach into the food

Section 73: Unloading and loading a food or food animal at an establishment

  • You unload food from the conveyance at the establishment in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food
    Examples:
    • You examine the carrier and surrounding area for visible signs of contamination before unloading or loading the food
    • You seal the conveyance to the building to prevent pests or other hazards from entering the conveyance or establishment
    • You are cautious when using forklifts and other unloading equipment as they can damage the food or its packaging
    • You unload refrigerated or frozen food from the conveyance and move them directly to the appropriate storage to prevent deterioration and spoilage
    • You receive and unload food only in the designated receiving area
    • You receive and unload food separately from non-food chemical agents
  • You load food onto the conveyance at the establishment in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food
    Examples:
    • You arrange the food in the conveyance in a manner that prevents damage to the food
    • You properly seal the conveyance to the building to prevent outside pests or other hazards from entering the establishment and conveyance
    • You load food that requires refrigeration or freezing directly to a pre-cooled or pre-frozen conveyance

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • make sure that when the fresh fruits or vegetables are loaded onto the conveyance that they do not come into contact with food or other things that may be a source of contamination
  • You unload and load a food animal that is intended to be slaughtered from or onto a conveyance at your establishment in a way that does not cause a risk of contamination to the food
    Examples:
    • You visually examine the conveyance and the surrounding area for potential sources of contamination before unloading the food animal
    • You receive and unload food animals only in the designated receiving area

Sub-section 74(1): Storing food and non-food items

  • You store food in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • You follow "first in, first out" stock rotation principles to minimize deterioration and spoilage
    • You use caution when storing food so they do not become punctured or damaged during storage
    • You place food on pallets off the floor or ground or on shelves to protect them against contamination from pests, including insects, rodents, and other vermin
    • If necessary, you install shelving units away from walls to allow for easy cleaning and to prevent pests from accessing the food
    • You do not store food that has passed its best before date

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • store the harvested fresh fruits or vegetables separate from equipment, fuels, agronomic inputs, starter products and other non-fresh fruit or vegetable things
    • store harvested fresh fruits or vegetables and those that are market ready separate from each other
    • store light sensitive fresh fruits or vegetables, such as potatoes, in the dark
    • store seeds used for sprout production off the floor or ground to prevent them being contaminated by pests, including insects, rodents, and other vermin
  • You store the following non-food items in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food
    • conveyances
    • conveyances or equipment
    • sanitizers and chemical agents
    • agronomic inputs and starter products
    • packaging materials and labels; and
    • any other thing that is used in the manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling of the food
      Examples:
      • You store conveyances or equipment
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • in designated locations that are clean and away from employee traffic and food production areas
        • in a manner that will discourage pests from living in the storage area
      • You store sanitizers and chemical agents
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • in a designated room or area, away from food production, that is dry and well ventilated
      • You store packaging material and labels
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • using "first in", "first out" principles as they may deteriorate and become unsafe over time
        • under proper conditions, as they may be sensitive to temperature, humidity, and light
        • off the floor or ground to prevent contamination by pests, including insects, rodents, and other vermin
      • You store personal items so that they are not a source of contamination to the food
      • You store protective clothing in designated locations and off the floor so that they do not get contaminated and are accessible

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • store starter products and agronomic inputs
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • in designated areas that is dry and well ventilated
        • away from the growing, harvesting and storage of fresh fruits or vegetables

8.0 Competency

SFCR: Section 75

Rationale

Competencies and qualifications are important for supporting food safety awareness and practices, for mitigating hazards that may contaminate the food, promoting animal welfare for the food animals intended for slaughter and for complying with the regulatory requirements.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 75: Competencies and qualifications

  • Any person involved in the manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling of a food or in the slaughtering of a food animal has the competencies and qualifications necessary to carry out their duties
    Examples:
    • You determine what training and knowledge is required for each employee based on the tasks they will perform
    • The employees, including contractors, have the necessary technical knowledge to perform their specific duties. This technical knowledge may include
    • You provide the employees, including contractors, with the training necessary for them to carry out their duties. This training may include
    • The employees, including contractors, have the necessary accreditations or certifications necessary for their duties and the accreditations or certifications are valid during the time the employees are performing their duties. Examples of duties where accreditation or certification may be necessary include:
      • developing a scheduled process for canned low-acid food
      • identifying food safety hazards and control measures
      • operating a thermal processing equipment (a pasteurizer or retorting equipment)
      • humane slaughter
      • performing pest control activities
      • performing grading activities
      • calibrating, servicing or repairing equipment
      • managing workplace hazardous materials
    • The training of employees includes an evaluation to ensure the training was effective
    • You provide training when changes to your food business occur or when deviations arise due to lack of competencies or qualifications
    • You maintain the competencies and qualifications of your employees by providing them refresher training as needed

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruit or vegetables

    • as appropriate to the their duties, the employees, including offshore workers and contractors are trained in
      • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
      • calibration and maintenance of farm and production site equipment
      • production site equipment cleaning and maintenance procedures (for example, cutting and trimming tools, clippers, knives)
      • application methods for agronomic inputs
      • harvesting procedures
      • sorting, grading, packing, repacking and wholesaling procedures
      • procedures for preventing cross-contamination from other non-produce activities that occur at the establishment (for example, food processing, cattle operation)
      • proper licencing and knowledge to operate and use farm vehicles and harvesting equipment

9.0 Hygiene

SFCR: Sections 76 to 81

Rationale

It is important that you take into consideration the following factors related to the persons in your food business as they may become a source of potential contamination to a food or affect the welfare of food animals intended for slaughter. These factors include, but are not limited to:

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 76: Clothing, footwear and protective coverings

  • Any person who enters or is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food, or where you slaughter a food animal is wearing clothing, footwear and protective coverings such as gloves, hairnets, beard nets and smocks, that are
    • in good condition
    • clean and in a sanitary condition
    • appropriate for the food
    • appropriate for the activity being conducted
      Examples:
      • You determine what protective coverings are necessary based on the risk to the food and the activity, and advise employees of their responsibility to wear them
      • You make sure that the clothing, footwear and protective coverings are in good condition and are clean and in sanitary condition by requiring that the employees, including contractors and visitors
        • remove them during breaks
        • change them as necessary
        • regularly wash them if they will be re-used
      • Depending on the food and activity being conducted, clothing, footwear and protective coverings are
        • worn within the area of the establishment for which their use is needed to prevent risk of contamination to the food
        • clean at the start of the shift and changed during the shift, as required
        • made of materials which are able to be cleaned and sanitized, if re-used
        • not re-used if they are intended for one-time use

Section 77: Personal cleanliness and hand washing

  • To prevent the contamination of the food, any person who enters or is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal maintains personal cleanliness
    Examples:
    • Personal cleanliness can be maintained by
      • keeping nails short and clean
      • not wearing dirty or torn street clothes even if they are worn under a smock
      • regularly bathing or showering
      • washing hair
      • cleaning hands to remove any visible dirt and, if necessary, sanitizing hands to reduce the number of microorganisms to a safe level
      • sanitizing hands when handling ready-to-eat food or surfaces that contact ready-to-eat food
  • To maintain personal cleanliness, the person cleans and, if necessary, sanitizes their hands
    • immediately upon entering the area
    • immediately after using the lavatory
    • immediately before beginning to conduct an activity, and
    • at a frequency appropriate for the food and the activity being conducted
      Examples:
      • You determine the need and the frequency of cleaning and if necessary, sanitizing, of hands based on the risk to the food and the activity being conducted

Section 78: Hygienic behaviours and habits

  • Any person who enters or who is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal refrains from
    • spitting
    • chewing gum
    • using tobacco products
    • eating
    • unnecessarily contacting the food and
    • acting in any other way that presents a risk of contamination of the food
      Examples:
      • Other acts that may present a risk of contamination of the food include
        • "horse playing" in areas where food is stored or prepared
        • sucking on candies or cough medicine while working
        • wiping hands on clothes
        • scratching of the head and/or face
        • placing fingers in or around the mouth or nose
        • brushing up against packaging liners
        • drinking while working on a food production line

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • may allow employees to drink water under certain circumstances, however you need to make sure that it is done in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food

Section 79: Wearing and using objects and substances

  • Any person who enters or is in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal refrains from wearing or using any object or substance that may present a risk of contamination of the food
    Examples:
    • Watches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, fake nails, fake eyelashes, pens, paper clips, pins, and buttons are objects that may present a risk of contamination to the food
    • Objects that cannot be removed and present a risk of contamination, including religious apparel, wedding bands, medical alerts, are secured and, if necessary, covered
    • Substances that may present a risk of contamination to the food such as hand cream, nail polish or topical medicinal creams are not used if they present a risk of contamination to the food

Section 80: Reporting of disease, illness, symptoms and lesions

  • Any person who works in an area where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal, and who has a disease or illness, symptoms of a disease or illness, or has an open or infected lesion, reports them to you
    Examples:
    • You require any person, including visitors, contractors and staff, that enters your establishment to report whether they have a communicable disease, are a carrier of a communicable disease, or have an open or infected lesion
    • You ensure that persons working in an establishment are aware that they are required to report a disease or illness, symptoms of a disease or illness, or presence of an open or infected lesion to an identified responsible person in the establishment
    • You have a mechanism in place for employees to report their condition to a responsible person in the establishment

Section 81: Persons with communicable diseases and lesions

  • If the person's condition presents a risk of contamination of the food, the operator prevents any person from entering or being in an area of the establishment where you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or where you slaughter a food animal when they
    • are suffering from a communicable disease
    • are known to be a carrier of a communicable disease
    • have an open or infected lesion
      Examples:
      • You have a process to determine whether a person with a communicable disease or with an open or infected lesion presents a risk of contamination to the food
      • You verify with any person that you suspect to have an illness whether their condition may present a risk of contamination to the food
      • You require open wounds on exposed areas of the skin such as the hands, arms, face, neck, and scalp to be adequately covered with water proof dressing if the person will be in food areas
      • If you determine there is a risk of contamination to the food, your employees are prevented from working in areas where food is exposed and handled; however, they may be permitted to work in other areas of the establishment (for example, in the warehouse operating a palletizer of finished product in boxes) if you determine there is no risk of contamination to the food

10.0 Investigation and notification, complaints and recall

SFCR: Sections 82 to 85

Rationale

An effective complaint, investigation, notification and recall system allows you to

  • identify and determine if any of the food you are responsible for presents a risk of injury to human health or does not meet the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations; and
  • notify the Canadian Food Inspection Agency without delay and remove the food from distribution, retail sale or consumer use, or correct the food at the point of sale when necessary

As a result, you will protect consumers from preventable health risks and other issues relating to non-compliance and possibly reduce cost and damage to your food business's reputation. A carefully prepared recall procedure, along with a good traceability system, helps to ensure that the foods you are responsible for can be effectively and efficiently recalled, if necessary.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For more best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes. In addition, key terms throughout the text have also been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 82(1) and section 85: Investigation when food may present a risk or does not meet the Act or Regulations

  • When you suspect that a food, including a food that you have imported, presents a risk of injury to human health or is non-compliant with the Safe Food for Canadians Act or its Regulations, you investigate the matter immediately
    Examples:
    • You investigate the matter immediately when
      • a client notifies you that several consumers have reported becoming sick after consuming your food
      • an employee working on one of your food processing lines informs you that there appears to be large pieces of plastic in some of the food on the line
      • a consumer who has a known allergy calls to say he has experienced an allergic reaction after eating your food, and the food's list of ingredients does not indicate the presence of the allergen

Subsection 82(2) and section 85: Notification to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

  • If the investigation establishes that the food, including a food that you have imported, presents a risk of injury to human health, you immediately
    • notify the CFIA; and
    • take action to mitigate the risk
      Examples:
      • The results of your investigation indicate that the food contains harmful levels of a hazard (for example, Listeria monocytogenes in a ready-to-eat food that supports its growth). The food has been or could have been distributed. You immediately:
        • contact your area's CFIA recall coordinator
        • ensure that any potentially harmful food is immediately identified, detained and segregated
      • For additional information on notifying the CFIA and the type of information to provide, refer to the guidance material on Recall procedure: A guide for food businesses

Subsection 83(1) and section 85: Procedure for receiving, investigating and responding to complaints

  • You prepare, keep and maintain a document that describes the food complaint procedure you use for receiving, investigating and responding to complaints related to food, including food you import
    Examples:
    • You have documented food complaint procedures for
      • identifying a competent person to investigate the complaint and forwarding the complaint to this person in a timely manner
      • categorizing the complaint (for example, pre-set criteria such as severity and level of risk)
      • examining the complainant's food sample or other food with the same code
      • ensuring that the investigation and response to a complaint is appropriate to the risk and takes into consideration any existing knowledge on previous complaints or complaint trends
    • You document when and how you review and update the procedure

Subsection 83(2) and section 85: Implementing complaint procedures and preparing and keeping complaint documents

  • Upon receiving a food complaint, including a complaint on a food that you import, you implement the food complaint procedure
  • You prepare a document that describes the
    • details of the complaint
    • results of the investigation; and
    • actions you have taken based on the results of the investigation
      Examples:
      • You prepare documents for all of the food complaints that you receive
      • You collect and document the following
        • details of the complaint, including the
          • date the complaint was received
          • name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail of the complainant
          • problem reported
          • common name of the food, package type and size, lot code or unique identifier
      • results of the investigation, including the
        • name and title of the person responsible for investigating the complaint
        • date and time of the investigation
        • investigation findings, such as what the problem is, how it happened, source of the problem, any other food that may be affected and reason
      • actions taken based on the investigation findings, including any
        • action taken on the affected food and any other potentially affected food, the date on which it was taken, and the person responsible
        • action taken to correct the source of the problem, the date on which it was taken, and the person responsible
        • details on the notification to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or other regulated parties (if applicable)
  • You keep the document for at least two years after the day on which you completed the actions you took as a result of the investigation

Subsection 84(1) and section 85: Written procedure for conducting a recall

  • You prepare, keep and maintain a document that describes your recall procedure for effectively recalling food, including food that you import
  • The recall procedure includes the names of
    • a contact person who is responsible for the recall procedure; and
    • a contact person who is responsible for conducting recalls
      Examples:
      • You review your recall procedure regularly and update it as necessary. Some of the updates may be based on the results of your recall simulations
      • You document when and how you review and update the procedure
      • Your recall procedure includes the following eleven steps
        1. Assemble your recall management team
        2. Notify the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
        3. Identify all food to be recalled
        4. Hold and segregate food to be recalled that are in your control
        5. Review the CFIA public food recall warning (if required)
        6. Prepare the distribution list
        7. Prepare and send the notice of recall
        8. Verify and document the effectiveness of the recall notification
        9. Control the recalled food
        10. Decide what to do with the recalled food
        11. Choose a corrective and preventive measure
        12. Conduct a post recall review
      • For additional information on developing a recall procedure, refer to the guidance material on Recall procedure: A guide for food businesses

Paragraph 84(2)(a) and section 85: Conducting a recall simulation

  • At least once every 12 months, you conduct a recall simulation that is based on your recall procedure
    Examples:
    • You conduct the recall simulation internally within your food business
      • If possible, pick a lot code of a food that you know has reached the consumer market
      • You locate the affected food, identify all clients that are affected and ensure that your contacts are up to date
      • If the affected food was used as an ingredient in another food, you also identify and segregate that food

Paragraph 84(2)(b) and section 85: Documenting your recall simulation

  • You prepare a document that describes the details of how you conducted the recall simulation and the results of the simulation
  • You keep the document for two years after the day on which the recall simulation was completed
    Examples:
    • Your document includes the following information
      • a description of the scenario you have chosen
      • the date and time of the simulation
      • the effectiveness of the recall simulation, such as
        • whether employees followed the recall procedure
        • whether all affected clients identified quickly and
        • whether you were able to reconcile the amount of food that was recalled with the food that distributed
      • any problems you encountered during the simulation
      • when and how the identified problems were corrected and who is responsible for those corrections

Subsection 84(3) and section 85: Notifying the Canadian Food Inspection Agency when a food is recalled

  • If you determine that a food, including a food that is imported, should be recalled because it presents a risk of injury to human health, you immediately notify the CFIA
    Examples:

Subsection 84(4) and section 85: Implementing and documenting a recall

  • If a food, including a food that is imported, is the subject of a recall because it presents a risk of injury to human health you
    • immediately implement your recall procedure
    • prepare a document that describes
      • the details of the recall
      • any information that substantiates the effectiveness of the recall
  • You keep the document for a period of at least two years after the day on which the recall was initiated
    Examples:
    • You implement the recall procedure immediately after the decision to recall a food was made or immediately after you are requested to recall a food. A recall can be requested by your supplier or by the CFIA
    • Your document includes the following information
      • the date and time the recall procedure was implemented
      • the common name of the food, brand name, package type and size, lot codes or unique identifier
      • the date when you contacted your clients
      • the method you used for contacting them, such as telephone, e-mail, facsimile
      • the name of the person contacted at each of your clients' offices
      • the action that each client has taken, which could include returning the food to you
      • for each client and for each food and lot code or unique identifier that was recalled
        • the quantity of food on site at the time of the recall
        • whether or not the food has been further distributed, and if it has been further distributed, how much
      • whether the recall notification was effective
      • the method you used to determine the effectiveness of the recall notification
    • For additional information on records, recall procedure, and recall verification refer to the guidance material on Recall procedure: A guide for food businesses
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