Reference Database for Hazard Identification (RDHI)

The Reference Database for Hazard Identification (RDHI) is a tool to identify food-related hazards in production and processing. The information and exercises included will benefit food processors and producers to develop more accurate, effective and uniform food safety procedures and preventive control plans, such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

The RDHI has no official sanction. This database is a guide to hazard identification and is meant for convenient reference only; HACCP teams are responsible for ensuring that any additional hazards specific to a food premise will be considered and evaluated.

How to use RDHI

  1. To start your search, either type keywords into the Search RDHI section, or select a subsection from the database’s left menu. Options are:
    • Product Ingredients and Incoming Materials
    • Processing Steps
    • Plant Layout (Cross Contamination Zone)
    • Biological Hazards
    • Chemical Hazards
    • Physical Hazards
    • References and the Search page
  2. Select the Continue button for detailed information in each section, or navigate the database using the Next and Previous buttons. These buttons are found on the top or the bottom of the content panel.
  3. User can access the associated hazard summary page at any time using the Associated Hazards button. This button is found on the top or the bottom of the main content panel.

Please note: Users can view and print the associated food hazards summary corresponding to their RDHI selections; however, data cannot be saved.


The manufacturer / importer is responsible for the safety of food sold.

The Food and Drugs Act states that:

4. No person shall sell an article of food that

  1. has in or on it any poisonous or harmful substance;
  2. is unfit for human consumption;
  3. consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, disgusting, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance;
  4. is adulterated; or
  5. was manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged or stored under unsanitary conditions.

5. (1) No person shall label, package, treat, process, sell or advertise any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety. (2) An article of food that is not labelled or packaged as required by, or is labelled or packaged contrary to, the regulations shall be deemed to be labelled or packaged contrary to subsection (1).

7. No person shall manufacture, prepare, preserve, package or store for sale any food under unsanitary conditions.

Designing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program

When designing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program, food enterprises are recommended to follow the steps of the Logic Sequence for Application of HACCP as identified by the Codex Alimentarius.

In addition to this database, users should consult their company’s complaint files, other reference texts, Public Health Agency of Canada reports on food safety related illnesses; recalls and complaints, and other review papers when designing HACCP plans.

Other Information

The database is manually organized and overseen. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the information provided in this database is up-to-date and accurate. To reflect changing conditions, future revisions to the database will be necessary. Users can submit information or proposed changes or additions to existing data that will be reviewed and verified prior to acceptance. If users find missing, inaccurate or incomplete information, contact us.

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