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Regulatory requirements: Preventive controls
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

  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at the establishment
    • is designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination of the food

      Examples:

      • The conveyance is capable of protecting the food from contamination coming from the exterior environment
      • In the case of bulk tankers, the conveyance is designed and constructed to permit complete drainage
      • Before you load or unload the food, you make sure that there are no defects or damaged parts that may present a risk of contamination to the food

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

      • you use conveyances that are covered or secured with a protective covering, such as a tarp or plastic sheeting
  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at the establishment
    • is capable of maintaining the temperature and humidity at levels that are appropriate for the food; and
    • if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, is equipped with instruments that control, indicate and record temperature and humidity levels

      Examples:

      • The conveyance is capable of maintaining refrigerated food at a temperature between 0°C and 4°C and frozen food at −18°C or less
      • If necessary, the conveyance also has instruments that can create records to demonstrate that the temperature is being maintained during transit
  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at your establishment does not contain
    • any animals, other than a food animal that is intended to be slaughtered in the facility or conveyance
    • pest control products, as defined in the Pest Control Products Act; or
    • any other material or substance that presents a risk of contamination of that food

      Examples:

      • You do not co-transport food with animals, pest control products or anything else that may contaminate the food
  • Any conveyance that is used to carry food to or from your establishment, and that is loaded or unloaded at your establishment
    • is clean and in a sanitary condition at the time of unloading or loading

      Examples:

      • You request information on the previous materials or things that were carried in the conveyance
      • If the conveyance was previously used to transport live animals, you request that the conveyance is sanitized to prevent contamination of the food and the transfer of live animal odours
      • Prior to unloading and loading food onto a conveyance
        • you request proof that the conveyance was cleaned and, if necessary, sanitized. Proof could include a cleaning certificate, wash ticket or letter of guarantee prior to loading or unloading the food
        • you visually inspect the conveyance for cleanliness
      • You do not load or unload the food if the conveyance is in poor or unsanitary condition
      • For additional information, refer to the guidance material on Cleaning and sanitation program
  • The material that is used to construct and maintain the conveyance is suitable for the intended use of the conveyance

    Examples:

    • The conveyance is made of material that is not affected by the food or its packaging; food that are high in salt or acidic may have a negative effect on some materials
    • You repair the conveyance using spare parts that are approved or recommended by the manufacturer
  • If the material used to construct or maintain the conveyance presents a risk of contamination to the food, the material is:
    • durable
    • capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and, if necessary to prevent contamination of the food, sanitizing; and
    • free of noxious constituents

      Examples:

      • When the material could present a risk of contamination to the food, you avoid using the following material
        • porous surfaces, such as wood and cast iron, 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 on conveyances, because they could leach into the food

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

  • You unload food from the conveyance at the establishment in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food

    Examples:

    • You examine the carrier and surrounding area for visible signs of contamination before unloading or loading the food
    • You seal the conveyance to the building to prevent pests or other hazards from entering the conveyance or establishment
    • You are cautious when using forklifts and other unloading equipment as they can damage the food or its packaging
    • You unload refrigerated or frozen food from the conveyance and move them directly to the appropriate storage to prevent deterioration and spoilage
    • You receive and unload food only in the designated receiving area
    • You receive and unload food separately from non-food chemical agents
  • You load food onto the conveyance at the establishment in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination to the food

    Examples:

    • You arrange the food in the conveyance in a manner that prevents damage to the food
    • You properly seal the conveyance to the building to prevent outside pests or other hazards from entering the establishment and conveyance
    • You load food that requires refrigeration or freezing directly to a pre-cooled or pre-frozen conveyance

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

    • make sure that when the fresh fruits or vegetables are loaded onto the conveyance that they do not come into contact with food or other things that may be a source of contamination
  • You unload and load a food animal that is intended to be slaughtered from or onto a conveyance at your establishment in a way that does not cause a risk of contamination to the food

    Examples:

    • You visually examine the conveyance and the surrounding area for potential sources of contamination before unloading the food animal
    • You receive and unload food animals only in the designated receiving area

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

  • You store food in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food

    Examples:

    • You follow "first in, first out" stock rotation principles to minimize deterioration and spoilage
    • You use caution when storing food so they do not become punctured or damaged during storage
    • You place food on pallets off the floor or ground or on shelves to protect them against contamination from pests, including insects, rodents, and other vermin
    • If necessary, you install shelving units away from walls to allow for easy cleaning and to prevent pests from accessing the food
    • You do not store food that has passed its best before date

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

    • store the harvested fresh fruits or vegetables separate from equipment, fuels, agronomic inputs, starter products and other non-fresh fruit or vegetable things
    • store harvested fresh fruits or vegetables and those that are market ready separate from each other
    • store light sensitive fresh fruits or vegetables, such as potatoes, in the dark
    • store seeds used for sprout production off the floor or ground to prevent them being contaminated by pests, including insects, rodents, and other vermin
  • You store the following non-food items in a manner that does not present a risk of contamination of the food
    • conveyances
    • conveyances or equipment
    • sanitizers and chemical agents
    • agronomic inputs and starter products
    • packaging materials and labels; and
    • any other thing that is used in the manufacturing, preparing, storing, packaging or labelling of the food

      Examples:

      • You store conveyances or equipment
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • in designated locations that are clean and away from employee traffic and food production areas
        • in a manner that will discourage pests from living in the storage area
      • You store sanitizers and chemical agents
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • in a designated room or area, away from food production, that is dry and well ventilated
      • You store packaging material and labels
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • using "first in", "first out" principles as they may deteriorate and become unsafe over time
        • under proper conditions, as they may be sensitive to temperature, humidity, and light
        • off the floor or ground to prevent contamination by pests, including insects, rodents, and other vermin
      • You store personal items so that they are not a source of contamination to the food
      • You store protective clothing in designated locations and off the floor so that they do not get contaminated and are accessible

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

      • store starter products and agronomic inputs
        • according to the manufacturer's instructions
        • in designated areas that is dry and well ventilated
        • away from the growing, harvesting and storage of fresh fruits or vegetables
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