Creating a preventive control plan under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (video)

A Preventive Control Plan demonstrates how hazards and risks to food are addressed. In this video, we look at how a business would prepare a preventive control plan.

Creating a Preventive Control Plan (PCP) under SFCR – Transcript

[Anna's pasta sauce factory is in front of a mountainous landscape. Anna is standing in front of the factory holding a tablet in one hand and her pasta sauce in the other hand.]

Anna owns a pasta sauce business. Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations she needs a Preventive Control Plan.

[Text on screen: Safe Food for Canadians Regulations]

[Text on screen: Preventive Control Plan (PCP)]

[The background changes to a family of six that is sitting around a dining table with salad and pasta on the table.]

This plan is a written document that outlines how a business makes sure that the food it makes is safe and fit for us to eat.

[Text on screen: Technical knowledge and scientific knowledge]

To develop this plan, Anna needs:

  • Technical knowledge of how her pasta sauce is made
  • Scientific knowledge of food safety

[Anna is holding a tablet and hands it to one of her staff members. Another staff member appears and she hands the tablet to her.]

Anna can develop it herself or have her employees do it. She can also bring in outside experts if she or her team lack the time or expertise to develop one.

[Text on screen: Key things to remember]

Here are the key things Anna will need to do when developing her PCP.

[Text on screen: Hazard analysis]

[Images of biological, chemical, and physical hazard awareness signs appear. A picture of tomato, garlic and basil leaves appear below on the left of the screen and a picture of the factory making the pasta sauce appears on the left.

Anna will need to identify any biological, chemical, or physical hazards that would pose a risk to the safety of her pasta sauce.

[The background changes to images of pathogens that fill the screen.]

She would do this by considering the hazards associated with each ingredient and each step involved in making the sauce.

[Anna's twenty eight pasta sauce jars are all labelled and lined up in a refrigerator.]

For example, Anna knows that pathogens can grow in the sauce during the storage step if the pH is not acidic enough, so she writes this in her hazard analysis.

[Text on screen: Control the hazards]

Anna will need to describe the control measures she will use so that any hazard she has identified will be reduced to a safe level.

[Images of biological, chemical, and physical hazard awareness signs appear. The images rotate over to an image of a checkmark after each hazard is mentioned.]

[Text on screen: Evidence]

She will need evidence that these control measures are effective.

[Anna's pasta sauce appears in a sauce pot, with a jar of vinegar next to it.]

For example, Anna adds vinegar to the pasta sauce to acidify it.

[The background changes to images of pathogens that fill the screen.]

She has proof that acidification will prevent the growth of any pathogens in her pasta sauce during storage.

[Text on screen: Critical control points]

[Anna's tablet appears on the left with a list of various steps with hazard images labelled next to them in the middle of the tablet screen.]

Anna will need to determine whether any of the steps she takes are critical to the product's safety, and if so, she will identify these as critical control points in her plan.

[Anna's tablet appears on the left again and the word "step 1" is bolded.]

[The titles "Minimum cooking temperature, Monitor and corrective action" all appear one by one on the tablet.]

For each critical control point, she will describe what criteria must be met for the food to be safe (such as a minimum cooking temperature), how she will monitor that this is met, and what corrective action she will take if this is not met.

[The background changes to an overview of the pasta sauce in the pot, and a thermometer hanging in it on the right side.]

For example, Anna monitors and records the time and temperature of the cooking step to make sure that any pathogens in the sauce are reduced to a safe level. If the time or temperature is not met, Anna would cook the sauce again or dispose of it.

[Anna's pasta sauce in the pot gets poured out to the right side of the page.]

[Text on screen: Verify the PCP is working]

Anna will need to write a procedure for how she will make sure that her plan has been followed as written and results in a safe product.

[Anna's tablet appears on the right, showing an image of her pasta sauce in the centre of the tablet with the title "Procedure" labelled above it.]

[The background changes to Anna's pasta sauce that appears at the bottom of the page and one of her staff's arm reaches in with a pH test strip that dips into the top of the pasta sauce jar. When the pH strip is lifted out, the colour appears to be yellow on the strip and the pH number "4.6" appears on the left side of the jar.]

For example, Anna's procedure includes testing the pH of the pasta sauce to make sure that it is below 4.6.

[Text on screen: Consumer protection measures]

[A family of six sits around a dining table enjoying their pasta meal. The screen zooms into the pasta on the table.

[The background changes to Anna's pasta sauce jar that appears on the left side and the titles "Labelling" and "Net quantity" appear on the right side of the pasta sauce jar.]

In addition to making sure her product is safe, Anna's plan will also need to describe how she will make sure she is meeting consumer protection requirements for things like labelling and net quantity.

[The background changes to Anna's pasta sauce jar and gets weighed on a scale in the middle of the screen.]

For example, Anna weighs a jar from every batch to make sure that the volume declared on the label matches what is in the jar.

[Text on screen: Implement the PCP and keep it updated]

[Three of Anna's staff appear on the bottom left side of the screen, and an image of a tablet appears in the middle with the title "Preventive control plan" labelled in the centre of the tablet and the word "2 years" pops up on the right hand side.]

[The tablet then rotates into a notepad image, and then rotates back into a tablet image.]

Anna needs to put her plan into practice by making sure her team is well trained, by following the plan as written, and by keeping records of preventive control plan-related activities for at least two years. Anna can keep her plan as a printed document in her facility or electronically.

[A calendar appears with various circled dates in red.]

[A picture of tomato, garlic and basil leaves appear on the right of the screen and a picture of the facility machine washing the tomatoes appears below.]

It is important that Anna maintain her plan by checking it periodically to make sure it is up to date and revising it as needed. She also needs to update her plan whenever there is a problem or something changes, like a new ingredient or a new piece of equipment is introduced.

Depending on your product, you may not need a written PCP if your business makes less than $100 thousand dollars per year; however, you will need to ensure preventive controls are in place.

[Text on screen: For more information:]

For more information about the Safe Food for Canadian Regulations and keeping a traceability record, visit

[End of video]