Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments have developed a mechanism to provide oversight to industry-developed food safety programs. This two-stage approach is led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with participation from provincial and territorial governments. The first stage takes a look at the technical requirements of the program. This involves bringing together a team of government experts in food safety to review the generic HACCP models that form the basis of the standard. To ensure that food safety hazards have been appropriately identified, the review proceeds to examine the corresponding manuals to ensure that the food safety hazards identified in the HACCP models have been adequately addressed. The second step in government oversight entails an examination of the effectiveness of the delivery and management of the program. The CanadaGAP program has received full Government Recognition by completing all steps in the process.
HACCP (pronounced “ha-ssip”) stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.
HACCP is an internationally recognized, scientific approach to controlling hazards (microbiological, chemical or physical) which is endorsed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. HACCP represents a proactive approach in which good practices are geared towards preventing contamination (mitigating risk) before it happens, rather than product testing/cleaning up problems after they occur.
Pre-requisite programs are essential food safety practices in place before a systematic hazard analysis is applied, such as those found in CFIA Codes of Practice or industry specific regulations and guidelines.
The CanadaGAP® Program is HACCP-based, which means the HACCP Models are generic to Canadian fresh produce suppliers.
Individual farms, packing houses and storage operations do not need to develop their own HACCP Model in order to follow the CanadaGAP Program. They can immediately begin using the appropriate CanadaGAP manual knowing that all the required hazard analysis has already been done for them.
Repacking and wholesaling operations must develop site-specific HACCP Plans. A generic HACCP model for Repacking and Wholesaling is available from CanadaGAP. An Appendix to the manual provides additional guidance on creating a HACCP Plan.
The HACCP Models for production, packing and storage developed by CanadaGAP are generic and may be used by fruit and vegetable farms, packing houses and storage operations across Canada.
The seven HACCP Models are developed according to HACCP principles, i.e. they encompass the following pre-requisite programs:
Sanitation & Pest Control
Transportation & Storage
as well as a full hazard analysis for all inputs to production and all process steps.
For more information on HACCP, click here to visit the CFIA website.