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Incoming ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements are being phased in over the following 12 to 30 months. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

Introduction

The incoming ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals introduced into your establishment can be a source of contamination to your food. The composition of ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals can present a risk of contamination of a food. Furthermore, the conditions under which food ingredients are handled, manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged, labelled and transported before you receive them can also result in their contamination. It is important that these biological, chemical and physical hazards that present a risk of contamination to your food are identified during the hazard analysis and that control measures are put in place to prevent or reduce them.

The control measures should provide assurance that:

Purpose

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) created this document as guidance to help regulated parties comply with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

It's your choice

You may use other guidance developed by provincial governments, industry associations, international partners or academic bodies as long as they can achieve the outcomes identified in the regulations. Always ensure that the guidance you choose is relevant for your particular business, product or products, and market requirements.

What's included

The document outlines preventive controls that can be used to ensure that:

Refer to the Tell me more! section for other useful references related to the hazards and preventive measures for incoming ingredients and materials.

What's not included

While the document provides examples of control measures, it is not exhaustive–the hazards from incoming ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals vary and the control measures used to prevent the risk of contamination to a food will be unique for each business.

This document does not address the various control measures suppliers should have in place to prevent, eliminate or reduce hazards and ensure the products they supply are safe and suitable for use.

Roles and responsibilities

Food businesses are responsible for complying with the law. They demonstrate compliance by ensuring that the commodities and processes for which they are responsible meet regulatory requirements. If a written Preventive Control Plan (PCP) is required, the food business develops a PCP with supporting documents, monitors and maintains evidence of its implementation, and verifies that all control measures are effective.

CFIA verifies the compliance of a food business by conducting activities that include inspection, and surveillance. When non-compliance is identified, the CFIA takes appropriate compliance and enforcement actions.

Preventive control measures for incoming ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals

Implementing control measures specific to the sourcing, receiving and storing of ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals helps ensure they are safe and suitable before their use. These control measures help protect your food from contamination.

1. Sourcing

Consider the following to help ensure that you source ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals that are safe and suitable for use. For example:

2. Receiving step

The following control measures can provide assurance that the ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals you receive are safe and suitable for use:

To prevent the contamination of your food by the incoming ingredients, materials and non-food chemicals, have an area dedicated for deliveries that is separated from your processing area.

3. Storage

To help prevent the contamination of your food during storage:

The document Preventing cross-contamination provides additional information that can help you prevent cross-contamination during storage.

Tell me more! Further reading

The following references contain information that helps explain food safety controls, demonstrates how to develop them, and provides examples. CFIA is not responsible for the content of documents that are created by other government agencies or international sources.

CFIA references

Other references

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