Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls
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
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