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Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls
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

  • The conveyances or equipment that you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food
    • are appropriate to the food and activity you conduct; and
    • function as intended

      Examples:

      • Before using a conveyance or equipment, you verify that it is functioning as intended by the manufacturer
      • If you use the same piece of equipment for more than one type of food, you ensure that the equipment is appropriate for each type of food
  • In addition, if you slaughter a food animal, the conveyances or equipment that you use to slaughter them
    • are appropriate to the food animal and the activity you conduct; and
    • function as intended

      Examples:

      • Before using a conveyance or equipment to slaughter a food animal, you verify that it is functioning as intended by the manufacturer
      • You adjust the equipment to the size and/or type of food animal you are slaughtering

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

  • The conveyances or equipment that you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are designed, constructed, and maintained to prevent contamination of the food

    Examples:

    • The conveyances or equipment you use are designed, constructed and maintained to
      • where necessary, exhaust to the outside of the facility to prevent excessive condensation
      • where necessary, permit proper drainage from the equipment and, where applicable, are connected directly to drains
      • have no internal horizontal ledges that have hidden or hard-to-clean areas
      • have protective shields, lids or covers to prevent contamination
      • avoid contaminating the food if there were failure of any parts
      • permit effective cleaning to prevent contamination from dust
    • You install equipment with sufficient space around it to permit its proper operation, maintenance, and cleaning
    • You perform preventive maintenance on conveyances or equipment you use to make sure the equipment continues to function as intended and to reduce the risk of contamination

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

    • maintain equipment such as hand-held cutting and trimming tools in good condition
    • check that the harvesting equipment for broken, damaged, corroded parts
    • repair or do not use any broken or damaged equipment

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

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals is constructed of and maintained using materials that are suitable for their intended use

    Examples:

    • The conveyance or equipment is made of material that is not affected by the food. For instance, salt or food acids may have a negative effect on some materials
    • You repair the conveyance or equipment using spare parts that are approved or recommended by the manufacturer
  • If the material used in the construction or maintenance of conveyances or equipment presents a risk of contamination to the food, the material is
    • corrosion-resistant
    • durable
    • capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, sanitizing, unless the equipment is intended for single-use; and
    • free of noxious constituents

      Examples:

      • You avoid using the following material
        • porous substances such as cast iron or wood, because they are difficult to clean and may harbour biological hazards
        • galvanized material to handle acidic food, because the acid reacts with the zinc coating to form salts that can be absorbed by the human body–excessive consumption of these salts may be harmful to consumers
        • lead-based paints as decoration or glaze on conveyances or equipment, because they could leach into the food
        • non-stick coatings, because they deteriorate after multiple uses–when scratched, the coating particles may contaminate the food, while the grooves formed may allow for biological hazards to grow

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

      • the light fixtures on conveyances or equipment that you use during harvest
        • are constructed of material that is shatterproof; or
        • are covered to prevent glass from falling onto the fresh fruits or vegetables

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

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are equipped with instruments to control, indicate and record any parameters that are necessary to prevent contamination of the food

    Examples:

    • As applicable, your conveyance or equipment has instruments that control, indicate, and record parameters that
      • accurately measure the addition of ingredients, preservatives or nutrients and additives
      • detect metal fragments based on type of food, target metal, and anticipated size
      • record critical processing times and temperatures, and
      • are specialized in measuring the pH and sugar concentrations, such as pH meters and refractometers

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

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

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are accessible for cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and inspection
  • If necessary, the conveyance or equipment can be disassembled for cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance and inspection

    Examples:

    • You are able to access the parts of the conveyance or equipment that come into contact with food or food contact surfaces
    • You install and arrange your conveyances or equipment such that you can easily reach them and have enough room to clean them
    • You are able to disassemble the conveyance or equipment for cleaning and sanitizing
    • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Cleaning and sanitation program

    Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables

    • the equipment that you use to grow or harvest, such as the blade or cutting head of a harvester or cultivator/sprayer panels, is easily accessible for cleaning

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

  • The conveyances or equipment you use to manufacture, prepare, store, package or label food or slaughter food animals are used, maintained and, if necessary, calibrated
    • according to the manufacturer's instructions; and
    • in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food

      Examples:

      • A qualified employee or a service contractor calibrates the conveyance or equipment
      • You do not conduct maintenance and food preparation in the same room and at the same time
      • You move the conveyance or equipment from the food preparation room to the maintenance area to perform maintenance and calibration activities

      Furthermore, if you grow or harvest fresh fruits or vegetables, you

      • calibrate the conveyances or equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions and, if required, before every use. Examples of conveyances or equipment that you may need to calibrate include:
        • agricultural chemical applicators
        • seed treaters
        • granular/liquid applicators, and
        • manure or fertilizer spreaders

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

  • The surfaces of the conveyances or equipment that may come into contact with food and which may present a risk of contamination of the food are
    • smooth
    • free from pitting, cracks and flakes; and
    • non-absorbent

      Examples:

      • You avoid using the following material
        • porous substances such as cast iron or wood, because they are difficult to clean and may harbour biological hazards
        • galvanized material to handle acidic food, because the acid reacts with the zinc coating to form salts that can be absorbed by the human body – excessive consumption of these salts may be harmful to consumers
        • non-stick coatings, because they deteriorate after multiple uses – when scratched, the coating particles may contaminate the food, while the grooves formed may allow for biological hazards to grow

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

  • The conveyances or equipment that you use for handling any contaminated materials, any waste, or any other inedible things, if they come into contact with those materials, waste and things:
    • are only used for that purpose
    • are identified as being reserved for that purpose; and
    • meet the applicable requirements found in section 53 above pertaining to conveyances or equipment that are used for manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling food or slaughtering of food animals

      Examples:

      • For the conveyances or equipment that you use for handling contaminated material, waste or other things
        • you identify them for that purpose by labelling and/or colour coding
        • employees are aware of the system used to identify equipment reserved for handling contaminated materials, waste, or other inedible things
        • If you slaughter bovine species, you have conveyances or equipment dedicated to specified risk material

Section 55: Restraining equipment for food animals

  • If you slaughter food animals, you use restraining equipment on animals while they are being handled and assessed, and during their ante-mortem examination and inspection
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