No. The requirement [found in Section 24 (HACCP Plan and Food Safety Program Maintenance and Review)] is that an operation ONLY needs to update the PAGES/SECTIONS that have changed. The outline of main changes can be found in the ‘main changes document’ available here . Details on the exact changes are found in the revisions documents on the CanadaGAP® website. Each year, operations may use the same manual (each section needs to be reviewed and items should be added/deleted/changed as necessary), adding and replacing any pages as needed to keep the version current, make their own updates to pages where something has changed in their operations, and sign the confirmation log at the bottom of each section to show that they are successfully completing the requirements within the program. Operations should make it clear in their manual that they have updated it to the most recent version (e.g., by updating the version number on their title page).
Yes, CanadaGAP has a fillable PDF version of both the Fruit and Vegetable and Greenhouse Food Safety Manuals. These fillable PDFs are available to download from the website here, in the Manual Download chart.
This fillable PDF allows operations to complete their manual electronically each year. An operation can download this version and fill out each section as they normally would (including the confirmation log at the end of each section). Once completed the fillable PDF can then be saved or printed if necessary.
In order to fully complete the fillable PDF, operations should:
- First download the fillable PDF to their computer. They should either right click on the file, click ‘save as’, and choose a destination, or download a copy directly to their own computer (e.g., on the desktop, C drive, etc.)
- The manual can then be completed electronically. Operations can go through the manual and check off checkboxes and circle bullets as needed. If there is a requirement that does not apply to an operation (because it is not applicable), the operation can choose the “N/A” drop-box that appears next to the requirement. There are text fields for operations to fill in relevant information such as for SSOPs, custom record-keeping, supplier or recall contact lists, etc.
- Operations must ‘save’ the file in order for the information to be saved. The manual does not need to be completed in one sitting.
Note: the fillable PDF does not include the forms. Operations will need to keep their records using another method (e.g., using electronic Excel versions of the CanadaGAP forms that are available on the website).
The CanadaGAP Appendices provide additional tools and resources for operations to use. They contain further details on topics found in the manual (such as chlorination guidelines, water testing, sign templates, examples of SSOPs, etc.). They are meant to be a tool to help operations implement some of the food safety requirements in the CanadaGAP manuals.
The Appendices are means as guidance only and are NOT requirements EXCEPT for Appendix S. Recall Program. Appendix S. Recall Program is required as part of a requirement in Section 23.3 of the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manuals.
How are revisions made to the CanadaGAP Program? If I make a request and it is approved, when will it be published?
Updates and revisions are made to the CanadaGAP program on a regular basis. These changes stem from user requests (program participants, Certification Bodies/auditors, buyers and/or other stakeholders), to account for new science, to align with changes in government regulations and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), as well as to clarify interpretation of existing requirements.
The general procedure for processing requests for modification are:
- Requests for modification are received.
- As needed, further research is carried out by CanadaGAP staff.
- Requests and supporting information are taken to the Technical Advisory Committee annual meeting.
- CanAgPlus Board approves changes as necessary.
- Approved changes are integrated into CanadaGAP Program materials (HACCP models, manuals, audit checklists, training materials, etc.).
- All changes must be approved by CFIA to show that technical rigour is being maintained.
- Manuals released in January/February for April 1st implementation by program participants.
For a number of years, CanadaGAP issued annual updates to the Food Safety Manuals. 2019 was the first year that no update was issued. This decision was well received by program users, and in future, manuals may be updated less frequently. However, the process for integrating changes into the standard must be followed regardless of frequency of updates. This means that users may have to wait longer for requested changes (e.g., request to include a new crop in the scope of the program). In 2022, no new version was published – a correction notice advised users of minor changes.
What if an operation cannot follow one of the procedures in the CanadaGAP manual? Will they have no choice but to lose marks on the audit?
Each procedure in the CanadaGAP manual is a control measure to manage a hazard. If an operation chooses not to follow a procedure, they would be expected to have an alternate procedure in place that mitigates the risk. These are called ‘deviations’ and are covered in the important note in the ‘how to complete your manual’ section of the CanadaGAP manual.
If the requirements in the CanadaGAP manual are not the same as federal/ provincial/municipal/territorial regulations/legislation, which are to be followed?
It depends. If the CanadaGAP requirements are stricter, then the manual must be followed. If the federal/provincial/municipal/territorial regulations/ legislation are stricter, then the regulations must be followed.
Prevailing legislation SUPERSEDE the requirements in the manual and must be followed.
Example: Some provinces require that one toilet is provided for every 20 employees while the manual requires one toilet for every 35 employees. Therefore, the operation must follow the regulations in their province for one in 20 if it applies to them. The provincial requirement is stricter than the manual; therefore, the operation must follow the provincial requirement.
However, if the manual requires something that the regulations do not, then the manual must be follow.
Example: In Quebec, according to the regulations, potable water parameters allow for 10 Total Coliforms and 0 E. coli. In order to follow the manual requirements, an operation would have to follow the potable water guidelines of 0 Total Coliforms and 0 E. coli.