Food Safety Practices Guidance For Spice Manufacturers
Hazard Summary for Spices

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The following table summarizes potential hazards associated with the production of this product and suggests possible control measures. The manufacturer is responsible for identifying hazards specific to the operation and determining how each hazard can be controlled. For additional information, refer to specific sections of this document as listed in the Reference column.

Hazard Summary for Spices
Process Step Potential Hazards Control Measures Reference
Incoming Materials/Receiving Contamination of treated and untreated spices, packaging materials or returned product with pathogenic microorganisms (e.g. Salmonella spp. and pathogenic E. coli). Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices, food additives, packaging materials and chemicals meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).

At receiving, inspect condition of all incoming materials and confirm that purchase specifications are met. Do not use materials that do not meet specifications.
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Presence of antimicrobial treatment chemicals above maximum allowable limits in previously treated spices. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Concentration of antimicrobial treatment chemicals in container is above or below the concentration stated on the label. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the chemicals meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Presence of undeclared allergens in treated and untreated spices and returned product. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).

At receiving, inspect condition of all incoming materials and confirm that purchase specifications are met. Do not use materials that do not meet specifications.
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Presence of food additives above maximum allowable limits and/or presence of non-permitted food additives in treated and untreated spices. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices and food additives meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).

At receiving, inspect condition of all incoming materials and confirm that purchase specifications are met. Do not use materials that do not meet specifications.
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Presence of mycotoxins in treated and untreated spices and returned product. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).

At receiving, inspect condition of all incoming materials and confirm that purchase specifications are met. Do not use materials that do not meet specifications.
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Pesticide residues in treated and untreated spices. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).
1.4
Incoming Materials/Receiving Presence of hazardous extraneous material (e.g. stones, glass, metal) in treated and untreated spices, food additives, packaging materials, chemicals and returned product. Obtain a guarantee from suppliers that the spices, food additives, packaging materials and chemicals meet purchase specifications (e.g. the supplier provides a Letter of Guarantee).

Examine incoming materials against predetermined screening criteria when received (e.g. Good Agricultural Practices, [GAP]).

At receiving, inspect condition of all incoming materials and confirm that purchase specifications are met. Do not use materials that do not meet specifications.
1.4
Storage of Incoming Materials (including returned product) Growth of pathogenic microorganisms in untreated spices due to inappropriate temperature and/or humidity control. Control temperature/humidity and storage practices to minimize growth of pathogenic microorganisms. 6.2
Storage of Incoming Materials (including returned product) Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms due to inadequate separation of treated and untreated spices as well as possibly contaminated returned product. Store treated and untreated spices separately.

Adequately identify and isolate returned, defective or suspect product.
6.2
Storage of Incoming Materials (including returned product) Contamination of non-allergen containing products with allergens due to inadequate separation. Adequately separate non-allergen containing products from allergen containing products. 6.2
Storage of Incoming Materials (including returned product) Chemical contamination due to improperly stored chemicals (e.g. cleaning product, antimicrobials). Store chemicals in a separate location from spices and packaging material. 6.2
Inspection and Sorting Cross-contamination of spices with pathogenic microorganisms due to contact with contaminated unacceptable/decomposed/decayed/damaged spices that have not been removed. Inspect and sort spices in a manner that does not lead to the contamination of spices. 1.6.2
Inspection and Sorting Cross-contamination of spices with pathogenic microorganisms due to failure to remove soil/microbial contamination from incoming spices. Adequately remove unacceptable/decomposed/decayed/ damaged spices.

Clean inspection and sorting equipment and areas at an adequate frequency.
3.2.4
4.1.1
Treatment Survival of pathogenic microorganisms due to insufficient application of treatment. Follow validated treatment procedures to ensure the treatment is effective and regulatory limits are not exceeded. 1.8
Treatment Contamination of spices with excess concentrations of antimicrobial treatment and/or residue due to improper chemical application rates. Follow validated treatment procedures to ensure the treatment is effective and regulatory limits are not exceeded. 1.8
Storage of Treated Spices Cross-contamination with pathogenic microorganisms due to inadequate separation between treated and untreated spices. Store treated and untreated spices separately. 6.2
Sifting/Screening Presence of hazardous extraneous material in spices due to holes in the sifting screens. Clean and sort incoming materials for extraneous material which may damage equipment.

Regularly monitor equipment (e.g. sifting screens) to ensure that it is in good operating condition (e.g. no holes) as part of an effective preventive maintenance program.
1.6.2
1.8.1
2.1.3
Cutting/Grinding Contamination of spices with extraneous material as a result of damage to equipment. Regularly monitor equipment to ensure that it is in good operating condition as part of an effective preventive maintenance program. 1.8.1
2.1.3
Cutting/Grinding Contamination of spices with extraneous material due to wear and tear of equipment. Regularly monitor equipment to ensure that it is in good operating condition as part of an effective preventive maintenance program. 1.8.1
2.1.3
Magnets Presence of hazardous extraneous material due to failure of magnet. Regularly monitor equipment to ensure that it is in good operating condition as part of an effective preventive maintenance and calibration program (i.e. confirm strength of magnet). 1.8.1
2.1.4
Magnets Contamination of product with metallic extraneous material due to over-accumulation on magnet. Regularly monitor equipment to ensure that it is in good operating condition as part of an effective preventive maintenance and calibration program (i.e. clean magnet at an adequate frequency). 1.8.1
2.1.4
Batching/Weighing Contamination of products not containing allergens with allergenic ingredients due to improper process separation, batching/weighing and/or sanitation. Adequately separate processes for products containing and not containing allergenic ingredients.

Ensure batched/weighed ingredients are adequately marked/identified.

Clean equipment, utensils and batching/weighing areas to minimize contamination with allergens.
1.6.1
4.1.1
Sifting/Screening Presence of extraneous material (metallic and non metallic) due to holes in screens. Regularly monitor equipment (e.g. sifting screens) to ensure that it is in good operating condition (e.g. no holes) as part of an effective preventive maintenance program. 1.8.1
2.1.3
Mixing/Blending Presence of allergenic ingredients due to the improper addition of ingredients (containing allergens) that do not appear on the label. Confirm that ingredients being added to a product reflect current and up to date master blending/formulation records. 1.1.1
Mixing/Blending Presence of allergenic ingredients due to the improper addition of rework (containing allergens) into spices that do not contain allergens. Clearly identify and label the composition of reworked product.

Control and monitor the addition of rework.
1.6.1
Packaging/Labelling/Coding Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and/or extraneous material due to improper or faulty package seals. Monitor packaging to ensure packages are sealed appropriately. 1.5.1
Packaging/Labelling/Coding Incorrect/illegible or missing codes due to equipment failure resulting in an inability to recall product. Implement an effective preventive maintenance program to ensure packaging equipment is functioning as appropriate. 2.1.1
2.1.3
Packaging/Labelling/Coding Presence of undeclared allergens due to incorrect label applied to package and/or incorrect list of ingredients. Monitor labels on product (e.g. correct label applied to product, information provided [list of ingredients where applicable] is complete and accurate). 1.7.1
1.9.1
Metal Detection Contamination with metal fragments due to ineffective detection by the metal detector and/or failure of the metal detector to function appropriately when metal is detected. Regularly calibrate the metal detector to ensure that it is functioning as intended.

Monitor and control the function of the metal detector.
2.1.4
1.8.1
Storage of Finished Products Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and/or foreign matter due to damaged or contaminated packaging material as a result of improper storage procedures. Provide employee training in proper storage procedures and correct handling procedures. 5.1
5.2
Storage of Finished Products Chemical contamination due to improperly stored chemicals (e.g. cleaning products). Store chemicals in a separate location from spices and packaging material. 6.2.3
Shipping/Distribution Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, chemicals and/or extraneous material due to unsanitary carriers and/or damaged packaging. Monitor carriers and product prior to and during loading to ensure the transportation conditions meet the requirements of the establishment for the product being shipped. 6.1
Shipping/Distribution Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms as a result of transporting treated spices with non-ready-to-eat foods. Monitor carriers and product prior to and during loading to ensure the transportation conditions meet the requirements of the establishment for the product being shipped. 6.1
Shipping/Distribution Contamination with chemicals as a result of transporting spices with non-food items (e.g. cleaning chemicals). Monitor carriers and product prior to and during loading to ensure the transportation conditions meet the requirements of the establishment for the product being shipped. 6.1
Shipping/Distribution Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, chemicals and/or extraneous material due to damaged packaging as a result of improper loading/stacking. Monitor carriers and product prior to and during loading to ensure the transportation conditions meet the requirements of the establishment for the product being shipped. 6.1
All Process Steps Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, chemicals and/or extraneous material due to employee error as a result of a lack of training and/or a failure to understand the importance of following written standard operating procedures (SOPs) and/or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Provide employee training in standard operating procedures (SOPs) and/or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) appropriate to their position and the work being done.

Provide employee training in proper hygiene and correct handling procedures. Monitor employee practices.
5.1
5.2
All Process Steps Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, chemicals and/or hazardous extraneous material due to improper employee handling practices. Provide employee training in proper storage procedures and correct handling procedures. 5.1
5.2
All Process Steps Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, foreign material and/or chemicals due to improper equipment design, installation and/or maintenance (e.g. product exposure to non-food grade material, splashing, cleaning problems). Use equipment that has been properly designed and installed for use in a food establishment. Maintain equipment appropriately to ensure that it is functioning effectively and to prevent contamination of product. 2.1
All Process Steps Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, chemicals and/or allergens due to improper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment, utensils and facilities. Monitor sanitation procedures and verify the effectiveness of the sanitation program. 3.3.2
4.1
All Process Steps Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms from condensation and/or pathogens carried in the air. Control and monitor air flow and the ventilation system to minimize the risk of product contamination. 3.2
All Process Steps Cross-contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and/or allergens due to improper plant layout (e.g. inadequate separation of operations). Separate non-compatible operations through building and process design. 3.2
All Process Steps Cross-contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and allergens due to improper movement of employees or visitors between process steps. Control employee and visitor movement within the plant. 5.1
All Process Steps Contamination with pathogenic microorganisms due to the presence of rodents, birds or insects. Monitor the effectiveness of the pest control program. 4.2
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