Categories of Hazards

Disclaimer

On January 15, 2019, the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) will come into effect.

Read the full disclaimer
  • Certain requirements for some foods or businesses will not apply on this date. Learn more about timelines.
  • If there are inconsistencies between the information found here and a related regulatory requirement, the requirement is what will apply to businesses. Please let us know if you find any such inconsistency by commenting on the resources.
  • Until January 15, 2019 current information and requirements (that will be replaced by the SFCA and SFCR) continue to apply.

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Infographic: How to Keep Food Safe: Categories of Hazards. Description follows.

Keeping food safe

The following are considered to be international best practices to identify food hazards. A hazard is anything present in food with the potential to harm someone, either by causing illness or injury.

Biological Hazards:

Bacteria, viruses, or parasites that could cause foodborne illness

Watch out for:

  • Staff with poor hygiene or food handling techniques
  • Bacteria commonly found in food
  • Storing or preparing food at a temperature that allows bacteria to grow
  • Ingredients that have spoiled

Protect your food by:

  • Rotating stock
  • Storing and preparing food at proper temperatures
  • Practicing good hygiene in your facilities

Chemical Hazards:

Anything that could introduce an unwanted chemical into your food

Watch out for:

  • Food in contact with cleaning chemicals
  • Unintentional contact with common food allergens, such as peanuts or seafood
  • Improper use of food additives during preparation

Protect your food by:

  • Labelling and storing chemicals separately from food
  • Using correct cleaning and preparation procedures

Physical Hazards:

Unintentional or dangerous materials that could end up in your food

Watch out for:

  • Personal objects, such as jewelry, that may fall into the food
  • Materials that do not belong in some food, such as bone chips, leaves, shells and pits

Protect your food by:

  • Conducting regular visual inspections
  • Following appropriate procedures in your facility

By preventing food safety hazards, you:

  • Reduce the likelihood of foodborne illness and recalls
  • Protect your business and reputation

Did you know?

Food can become contaminated during growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, storing or handling.

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