Food Safety Practices Guidance For Spice Manufacturers

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For the purpose of this guidance document, the following expressions have the stated definitions:

any substance capable of producing an abnormal immune response in sensitive individuals. Priority food allergens of concern in Canada include: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, wheat, sulphites, sesame seeds, egg and seafood (fish, crustaceans and shellfish).
a standardized evaluation of the inherent capability of equipment to consistently perform a specified function under actual operating conditions after significant causes of variation have been eliminated.
with reference to this document, certification refers to the guarantee a supplier (vendor) provides to a manufacturer that the material meets the manufacturers specifications, e.g. certificate of analysis. This may include periodic monitoring to verify adherence to specifications and audits to validate the status of the supplier certification program.
Change control
the control that a manufacturer maintains over any changes to the formula, ingredients, equipment, packaging, thermal processing and manufacturing process to ensure the safety of the finished product is not directly or indirectly affected.
the transfer of harmful substances or disease-causing microorganisms to spices by hands, food-contact surfaces and utensils that touch contaminated spices.
means that an operation performs consistently within pre-determined limits based on process capability, meets process requirements, provides a mechanism to maintain the stability of the process and consistently results in a safe product.
Corrective action
the actions to be taken when the results of any monitoring indicates a loss of control. In addition this term refers to any action taken to bring the process into control and deal with any affected product when critical limits or other criteria are not met. The action should be prompt and appropriate to the seriousness of the deficiency.
Critical Control Point (CCP)
a point, step or procedure at which control can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to acceptable levels.
Critical limit
a value which separates acceptability from unacceptability.
contamination of foods or packaging material by direct or indirect contact with material from an earlier stage of the process. A regulated process flow and good employee practices will minimize the risk of cross-contamination occurrences.
for the purposes of this document, deterioration can be used interchangeably with spoilage; however, deterioration can also apply to non-food products such as packaging materials. For non-food items, deterioration is a physical or chemical change in the material that may adversely affect the safety of the food.
failure to meet the critical limits for a Critical Control Point or failure to meet the limits of acceptability for factors significant to food safety.
Deviation procedure
a pre-determined and documented set of corrective actions (immediate and preventive) which are implemented when a deviation occurs.
for the purposes of this document, documents refer to written formulae, procedures or specifications used by or required of a manufacturer.
Factors significant to food safety
means any property, characteristic, condition, aspect, or other parameter, variation of which may affect the safety of the product or the process.
Food contact surface
any equipment or utensil which normally comes in contact with the food product or surfaces normally in contact with the product.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
the general practices used in the planting, growing, harvesting, sorting, packing, storage and transportation of spices which will reduce and minimize the risks of biological, chemical and physical contamination.
the potential to cause harm. A biological, chemical or physical property that may cause an unacceptable consumer health risk.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
a systematic approach to identifying and assessing hazards and risks associated with a food operation and defining the means of their control.
Inspection areas
(definition with respect to lighting requirements), inspection areas are defined as any point where food products or containers are visually inspected or instruments are monitored.
means the amount of product of a specific container size, product style and code produced by a food establishment during a specified period of time.
Master formula
the master formula is the official formula referenced by a manufacturer for a given product.
include yeasts, moulds, bacteria, viruses and parasites. When used as an adjective, the term "microbial" is used.
a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a Critical Control Point (or other activity) is under control.
Periodic testing (Recall)
internal activities conducted periodically to verify the capability of the manufacturer to rapidly identify and control a given lot of product. These activities do not necessarily require that the manufacturer contact customers.
Potable water
water which meets the requirements of the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality published by Health Canada and any applicable provincial and municipal requirements.
Pre-packaged product
as per the Food and Drugs Act, any food that is contained in a package in the manner in which it is ordinarily sold to or used or purchased by a person.
Recall (noun)
denotes the process of recalling the affected product and encompasses all tiers of the affected product distribution system.
Recall (verb)
means for an establishment to remove from further sale or use, or to correct, a marketed product that contravenes legislation administered and/or enforced by CFIA.
observations and measurements recorded by a manufacturer to determine adherence to critical limits, limits of acceptability or other specified requirements (for a Critical Control Point or for factors significant to food safety).
means exposure to a temperature of 4°C or less, but does not mean frozen.
an estimate of the likelihood of occurrence of a hazard.
the application of heat or chemical treatments to destroy or substantially reduce the number of microorganisms present that have the potential to cause adverse health effects.
includes various parts of dried aromatic plants and relates to natural dried components or mixtures thereof, used in food for flavouring, seasoning and imparting aroma. The term applies equally to spices in the whole, broken or ground form.
Spice blends
obtained by grinding and mixing dried and clean selected spices.
a process whereby food is rendered unacceptable for consumption through microbiological or chemical reaction.
the obtaining of evidence showing that control measures are capable of being consistently effective. Validation is performed when new control measures or a new food safety control system is designed, or when changes indicate the need for revalidation, in order to confirm that the control measures or food safety control systems, when implemented as intended, are capable of controlling the hazard to the appropriate level and that this level of control can be achieved consistently.
examination of the accuracy, correctness or effectiveness of validated processes or process controls through testing, investigation or comparison against a standard.
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