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Corrective action procedures for your preventive control plan

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

Introduction

Establishing Critical Control Point (CCP) is the fifth principle of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and is an essential part of a Preventive Control Plan (PCP). A deviation from the critical limits established for a CCP can lead to unsafe food. Corrective action procedures document ahead of time the steps to be taken when a deviation occurs so that you are ready to re-establish control promptly when a deviation occurs at a CCP.

Keep in mind

Although corrective action procedures are required in your PCP for CCPs only, you still need to take corrective action for any deviation from your other preventive controls.

Purpose

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) created this document as guidance to help food businesses comply with the requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

It's your choice

You may use other guidance that has been developed by provincial governments, industry associations, international partners, or academic. Always ensure that the corrective actions guidance you choose is relevant for your particular business, product or products, and market requirements.

What is included

This document outlines the steps for establishing corrective action procedures at CCPs and preparing corrective action records. It provides background on corrective actions and a template that you can customize to create individualized corrective action procedures and records.

Refer to the Tell me more! section for additional sources of information that may help you establish your corrective action procedures.

What is not included

The examples provided are not exhaustive. The level of detail required will be unique for each business.

The document does not specify the corrective actions to be taken.

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 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.

The 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.

Designing and implementing corrective action procedures

When a deviation from a critical limit has occurred at a CCP, prompt corrective action is necessary in order to re-establish control at this critical step in your process. A corrective action procedure facilitates prompt action and should anticipate any deviation likely to occur at that CCP. Correcting a deviation includes:

Every written corrective action procedure should answer some basic questions related to who, what, how, as well as what record to document corrective actions on.

Step 1. For each control measure applied at a CCP, identify who will take the corrective actions:

Step 2. Document what will need to be done to re-establish control and how it will be done. For example:

Step 3. Document the steps to be taken if the deviation affects the safety of other production lots that have already entered the marketplace.

Step 4. Document the steps for determining the root cause of the deviation and preventing recurrence:

Step 5. Prepare a standardized record to document the details of the corrective actions as outlined in steps 1 to 4.

Appendix 1 provides an example of a standardized corrective action record.

Tell me more! Further reading

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

CFIA references

Other references

Appendix 1: Example of a Corrective action(s) record

Report number:
Date and time deviation was observed:
Completed by (Name & Position):
Establishment name:

Part A Deviation description

1. Description of deviation:

  1. What was affected; food or food contact surfaces?
  2. Identification of all food (include name, type, code, amount & weight) affected:
  3. How was food controlled?
  4. Was production stopped?
  5. Has any food left the control of the operator? (If so – follow recall procedures)

Part B Food safety assessment

2. Was food safety compromised?  Yes Box  No Box

  1. Description of food safety hazard:
  2. How was food tested or evaluated?
  3. Results of testing or evaluation:
  4. Disposition (released, reworked, destroyed):

Part C Corrective action(s)

3. Description of all corrective actions taken or to be taken:

Part D Completion of corrective action(s)

4. Was/were corrective action(s) completed immediately? Yes Box No Box

  1. If Yes, sign and date
  2. If no, the target date for completion; sign and date upon completion

Part E Root cause and control measures

5. Was the root cause identified? Yes Box No Box

  1. If yes, detail the root cause:
  2. What will be done to prevent recurrence?
  3. Have unforeseen or previously unidentified hazards been identified?
  4. Target date for completion of measures to prevent recurrence:
  5. Actual completion date of measures to prevent recurrence:

Part F Verification

6. Corrective action(s) were completed and effective  Yes Box No Box

7. Control measures were completed and effective  Yes Box  No Box

8. Verified by:

9. Date and time:

10. Signature

Date modified: