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Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls
3.0 Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures

SFCR: Sections 47 and 48


Hazards may be inherent to food, or they may be introduced during its preparation, movement, or storage. The presence of hazards in food can cause a risk of injury to human health. It is therefore important that you identify and analyze the hazards associated with the food, whether they will be sent or conveyed from one province or territory to another, imported, or exported, and use control measures that are effective to prevent, eliminate or reduce the hazards to an acceptable level.

What this means for your food business

To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer examples of what you could do to comply. For best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

In addition, key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 47(1): Hazard identification and analysis

Subsection 47(2): Effective control measures for the identified hazards

Subsection 47(3): Hazard identification and analysis for persons who import

Subsection 48(1): Scheduled process for low-acid food in a hermetically sealed package

Subsections 48(3) and 48(4): Documents and retention period for scheduled processes

  • For each low-acid food, you prepare documents that set out:
    • a description of the scheduled process that you will apply
    • the name of the person that developed the scheduled process; and
    • the formulation of the food


      • The description of the scheduled process could include:
        • the processing parameters such as the initial temperature of the product, the process temperature, the process time and pressure
        • other critical factors that affect commercial sterility such as water activity, pH, viscosity, percent solids, fill weight, headspace, particle size and starch addition
        • the container dimensions and type
        • the container orientation and spacing in retort where appropriate
        • the venting procedures, (these should be determined on fully loaded retorts only); and
        • the date the scheduled process was developed or last modified
      • The formulation of the food could include:
        • the names and quantities of all the ingredients, including food additives that make up the low-acid food
  • Each time you apply a scheduled process you prepare documents that set out:
    • the name of the food
    • the production volume
    • the equipment that is used for the treatment
    • the parameters of the treatment, such as:
      • the start and end times
      • temperatures, and
      • pressure
    • a description of any maintenance to the equipment
    • a description of any modifications to the equipment
    • any deviations from the scheduled process
    • any corrective action taken due to the deviation
    • the incubation results
    • a description of any treatment of the cooling water
  • You keep these documents for a period of three years after the day you applied the scheduled process

Subsection 48(2): Exception from the application of a scheduled process to low-acid food in hermetically sealed packages

  • You would not have to apply a scheduled process if:
    • the food is kept refrigerated or frozen; and
    • you label the food on the principal display panel with the expressions: "Keep Refrigerated" and "garder réfrigéré" or "Keep Frozen" and "garder congelé", as the case may be
      Note: For additional information on labelling requirements, refer to the Industry labelling tool
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