Food Safety Enhancement Program Manual
Section 5 - Changes to a recognized HACCP system

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5.1 New HACCP plan

When an establishment adds a new HACCP plan to its system or a new process to an existing HACCP plan, the following information must be communicated to the responsible inspector prior to the commencement of the new process.

  • The establishment's name and registration number
  • The establishment's contact name, phone number and e-mail address
  • The name of the new process/product
  • The risk category of the new process (high or lower risk category)

The responsible inspector/supervisor must communicate this information with the Area FSEP Coordinator who must conduct a review of the new HACCP plan or assign a delegate to do so.

A written review of HACCP plans associated with high risk category products/processes must be conducted by the CFIA prior to the commencement of the new processes for commerce.

High Risk Category

Loss of control of the process could result in a significantly high health risk. High risk category products or processes may involve any of the following criteria:

  • The process involves a kill step to eliminate microbial contaminants, or a step to reduce them to an acceptable level. For example, pasteurization, sterilization, cooking, drying, fermentation, acidification.
  • Hazards are inherent to the process and the product is considered ready to eat, without further processing by the consumer.
  • The production involves a complex recipe. It may involve the use of chemical hazards (e.g. nitrates) or involve a product that addresses serious nutritional concerns.

Lower Risk Category

Lower risk category products or processes may involve any of the following criteria:

  • Hazards are inherent to the process but the processing controls are not designed to eliminate these hazards. Rather, the controls (such as proper sanitation and temperature control) are meant to prevent contamination or to prevent an increase to existing biological hazards. Product will be further processed by the consumer/client, who may need to follow specific handling and storage instructions. While it is necessary to minimize these hazards, deviations will moderately increase the health risks associated with the final product.
  • Products are ready to eat but do not pose significant health hazards on their own. For example, thermal processing or aseptic processing for high-acid food, maple product processing, honey processing, freezing, packaging, drying of fruits.

5.2 Changes to a HACCP system

When an establishment changes its recognized HACCP system, it must enter the changes in the HACCP log book as described in section 3.4.1 of the FSEP manual. The data must be available for future review by the CFIA.

5.3 Changes in ownership

If there is a change in ownership in a FSEP recognized establishment and the originally recognized HACCP System is intact, the new owner will be required to submit a new letter of commitment to the CFIA Area FSEP Coordinator. The letter will confirm that the originally recognized HACCP System is intact and will not be changing as a result of the change in ownership. The letter will also confirm the commitment of the new owner as per the FSEP Manual.

If changes to the HACCP system are made, the new owner will be required to submit a new letter of commitment and a list of the changes made to the HACCP system to the CFIA Area FSEP Coordinator. The CFIA will evaluate the impact of the changes on the HACCP system and determine if the establishment has to undertake a new recognition process.

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