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Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls

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1.0 Introduction

The preventive control requirements found in Part 4 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) contain the majority of the food safety requirements. The food safety requirements are based on internationally recognized principles of food hygiene, including Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Agricultural Practices, and the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). These requirements establish the expected food safety outcomes to help prevent food safety hazards and reduce the likelihood of contaminated food entering the Canadian market place.

In addition, there are inherent animal welfare risks to food animals during their handling and slaughter. The preventive control requirements found in Part 4 of the SFCR contain the animal welfare requirements that are based on internationally recognized principles. These preventive controls establish the outcomes for preventing or eliminating avoidable suffering, injury, or death other than by slaughter or humane killing of the food animal.

The following provides an overview of the regulatory requirements in Part 4 – Preventive controls.

Additional information on written Preventive control plans can be found in the guidance material Regulatory requirements: Preventive control plans.

2.0 Application

The preventive control requirements in Part 4 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) apply to both an operator (see section 2.1) and licence holders who import food (see section 2.2).

2.1 Responsibilities of operators

A. Operators who hold a licence to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label food.

If you hold a licence to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label food, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

B. Operators who hold a licence to slaughter food animals

Food animals, other than game animals

If you hold a licence to slaughter food animals, other than game animals, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

Game animals

If you hold a licence to slaughter game animals, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food and operations:

Note: SFCR provisions 50, 51(1), 56, 66, 67 and 71 would only apply to the facility where you manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label the meat product derived from the game animal.

C. Operators who grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

If you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables for interprovincial trade or export, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

D. Operators who handle fish in a conveyance

If you handle fish in a conveyance for interprovincial trade or export, you would be required to comply with the SFCR following requirements:

E. Operators who hold a licence to store and handle a meat product in its imported condition for the purpose of inspection

If you hold a licence to store and handle meat products in its imported condition for the purpose of inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, you are required to comply with the following requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

2.2 Responsibilities of licence holders who import food

As a licence holder who imports food, you are required to comply with the following SFCR requirements as may be applicable to your food business:

3.0 Hazards identification, analysis, and control measures

SFCR: Sections 47 and 48

Rationale

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

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

4.0 Conditions of the establishment

SFCR: Sections 56 to 71

Rationale

It is important that you operate on land that forms part of your establishments which is distant from nearby businesses such as oil refineries, chemical plants, and paper mills that generate smoke, dust, and odours that could contaminate your food. Failure to design and maintain facilities or conveyances appropriately can lead to inadequate lighting, temperature, humidity, and ventilation which increase the risk of contamination during food preparation.

In addition, ineffectively removing waste, using unsafe and non-potable water, and installing an inadequate number of hand cleaning stations increase the risk of contamination of your food by unsanitary contact and spread of communicable diseases. Furthermore, if you slaughter food animals, improperly segregating and isolating sick or injured animals, as well as overcrowding, may increase the risk of spread of disease and contamination of your food.

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 more 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.

Sub-section 56(1): Condition of the land that forms part of the establishment

Sub-section 56(2): Proximity of the establishment to places or things that present risk of contamination

Paragraph 57(a): Sanitary design of the facility or conveyance

Subparagraph 57(b)(i): Size and layout of the facility or conveyance

Subparagraph 57(b)(ii): Prevention of the entry of insects, rodents and other vermin

Subparagraphs 57(b)(iii) and (iv): Floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors

Paragraph 57(c): Materials used in construction and maintenance

Paragraph 57(d): Construction of the facility or conveyance

Sub-section 58(1): Separate area for handling of food animals to be slaughtered

Sub-section 58(2): Enclosed areas for handling inedible meat products

Sub-section 58(3): Secure footing for food animals in the establishment

Sub-section 58(4): Stations for inspections, examinations, and screenings

Section 59: Control of movement within, into, and out of the facility or conveyance

Section 60: Separation of incompatible activities

Section 61: Separation of food

Section 62: Control of food that is unsafe, returned, or non-compliant with the SFCA or the SFCR

Sub-section 63(1): Natural or artificial lighting used within the establishment

Sub-section 63(2): Light fixtures in the establishment

Section 64: Ventilation system in the facility or conveyance

Sub-section 65(1): Appropriate temperature and humidity in a facility or conveyance

Sub-section 65(2): Conditions of heating, cooling and humidity-control systems

Sub-section 66(1): Removal and disposal of contaminated materials and waste

Sub-section 66(2): Frequency and manner of removal and disposal

Sub-section 67(1): Hand cleaning stations, lavatories, showers, drinking water stations, break rooms and change rooms

Sub-section 67(2): Specifics for hand cleaning and sanitizing stations

Sub-section 67(3): Location and maintenance of lavatories

Sub-section 68: Areas for inspector's use

Section 69: Availability of office, lockers and cabinets for inspectors in meat products and processed egg products establishments

Sub-sections 70(1) and (2): Water, steam and ice that may come into contact with a food

Sub-section 70(3): Cross-connections between water systems

Sub-section 70(4): Water given to food animals

Sub-section 71(1): Supply of water, steam and ice

Sub-section 71(2): Treatment of water, steam or ice

5.0 Sanitation, pest control and non-food agents

SFCR: Sections 50 to 52

Rationale

To prevent the contamination of the food that you manufacture, prepare, store, package or label it is crucial that the establishment and any conveyance or equipment be kept clean and in a sanitary condition and that any pest be prevented from entering the establishment. However, if you are not careful, the manner in which you clean and sanitize the establishment, the type of sanitizer or non-food chemical agents that you use and the manner in which you prevent the entry of pests into your establishment can be also be a source of contamination to the food. In addition to the above, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, it is important that the agronomic inputs you use are suitable for their intended use and the way in which you use them do not pose of a risk of contaminating the fresh fruits or vegetables.

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 50(1): Clean and sanitary establishment, conveyances or equipment

Subsection 50(2): The cleaning and sanitizing activities do not present a risk of contamination to the food

Section 51: Presence of animals in the establishment and facility or conveyance

Section 52: Identification, suitability and use of sanitizers, agronomic inputs and non-food chemical agents

6.0 Conveyances or equipment

SFCR: Sections 53 to 55

Rationale

Proper use of conveyance or equipment minimizes the risk of food contamination as well as undue stress, discomfort, harm, or injury to food animals. The use of faulty, inappropriate, or poorly installed conveyances or equipment to handle, treat, or process a food or handle a food animal may result in leaching of harmful chemicals, suffering of restrained food animals, and improper cleaning and sanitizing, among others.

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 more 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.

Paragraphs 53(a) and (e): Use and function of conveyances or equipment

Paragraph 53(b): Design, construction, and maintenance of conveyances or equipment

Paragraph 53(c): Materials used in construction and maintenance of conveyances or equipment

Paragraph 53(d): Instruments used to control, indicate, and record parameters

Paragraph 53(f): Accessibility for cleaning and sanitizing, maintenance and inspection of conveyances or equipment

Paragraph 53(g): Use, maintenance, and calibration of conveyances or equipment

Paragraph 53(h): Food contact surfaces of conveyances or equipment

Section 54: Conveyances or equipment used for handling contaminated materials, waste or other inedible things

Section 55: Restraining equipment for food animals

7.0 Loading, unloading, and storage

SFCR: Sections 72 to 74

Rationale

Receiving, loading, transportation, storing, and handling of food, non-food items, and food animals are inherent to the food production lifecycle. Failure to properly perform these activities may result in contamination of food by biological, chemical and physical hazards.

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 more best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes.

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

Section 72: Conditions of conveyances used to convey food

Section 73: Unloading and loading a food or food animal at an establishment

Sub-section 74(1): Storing food and non-food items

8.0 Competency

SFCR: Section 75

Rationale

Competencies and qualifications are important for supporting food safety awareness and practices, for mitigating hazards that may contaminate the food, promoting animal welfare for the food animals intended for slaughter and for complying with the regulatory requirements.

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. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 75: Competencies and qualifications

9.0 Hygiene

SFCR: Sections 76 to 81

Rationale

It is important that you take into consideration the following factors related to the persons in your food business as they may become a source of potential contamination to a food or affect the welfare of food animals intended for slaughter. These factors include, but are not limited to:

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. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Section 76: Clothing, footwear and protective coverings

Section 77: Personal cleanliness and hand washing

Section 78: Hygienic behaviours and habits

Section 79: Wearing and using objects and substances

Section 80: Reporting of disease, illness, symptoms and lesions

Section 81: Persons with communicable diseases and lesions

10.0 Investigation and notification, complaints and recall

SFCR: Sections 82 to 85

Rationale

An effective complaint, investigation, notification and recall system allows you to

As a result, you will protect consumers from preventable health risks and other issues relating to non-compliance and possibly reduce cost and damage to your food business's reputation. A carefully prepared recall procedure, along with a good traceability system, helps to ensure that the foods you are responsible for can be effectively and efficiently recalled, if necessary.

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 more best practices on how to comply, guidance materials have been hyperlinked throughout the examples boxes. In addition, key terms throughout the text have also been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.

Subsection 82(1) and section 85: Investigation when food may present a risk or does not meet the Act or Regulations

Subsection 82(2) and section 85: Notification to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Subsection 83(1) and section 85: Procedure for receiving, investigating and responding to complaints

Subsection 83(2) and section 85: Implementing complaint procedures and preparing and keeping complaint documents

Subsection 84(1) and section 85: Written procedure for conducting a recall

Paragraph 84(2)(a) and section 85: Conducting a recall simulation

Paragraph 84(2)(b) and section 85: Documenting your recall simulation

Subsection 84(3) and section 85: Notifying the Canadian Food Inspection Agency when a food is recalled

Subsection 84(4) and section 85: Implementing and documenting a recall

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