Categories of Hazards

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.

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Infographic: How to Keep Food Safe: Categories of Hazards. Description follows.

Keeping food safe

The following are considered to be international best practices to identify food hazards. A hazard is anything present in food with the potential to harm someone, either by causing illness or injury.

Biological Hazards:

Bacteria, viruses, or parasites that could cause foodborne illness

Watch out for:

  • Staff with poor hygiene or food handling techniques
  • Bacteria commonly found in food
  • Storing or preparing food at a temperature that allows bacteria to grow
  • Ingredients that have spoiled

Protect your food by:

  • Rotating stock
  • Storing and preparing food at proper temperatures
  • Practicing good hygiene in your facilities

Chemical Hazards:

Anything that could introduce an unwanted chemical into your food

Watch out for:

  • Food in contact with cleaning chemicals
  • Unintentional contact with common food allergens, such as peanuts or seafood
  • Improper use of food additives during preparation

Protect your food by:

  • Labelling and storing chemicals separately from food
  • Using correct cleaning and preparation procedures

Physical Hazards:

Unintentional or dangerous materials that could end up in your food

Watch out for:

  • Personal objects, such as jewelry, that may fall into the food
  • Materials that do not belong in some food, such as bone chips, leaves, shells and pits

Protect your food by:

  • Conducting regular visual inspections
  • Following appropriate procedures in your facility

By preventing food safety hazards, you:

  • Reduce the likelihood of foodborne illness and recalls
  • Protect your business and reputation

Did you know?

Food can become contaminated during growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, storing or handling.

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