Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)

checking meat with food thermometer

HACCP is internationally recognized as the gold standard for food safety. This system became mandatory in all of Canada's federally registered meat establishments in 2005 and in fish processing establishments in 1998.

By checking food safety at "critical points" in the production process, HACCP helps prevent hazards before they occur.

The seven principles of HACCP are:

  1. Identification of hazards.
  2. Analyze hazards to determine "critical control points" (CCP).
  3. Establish critical limits for each CCP.
  4. Establish monitoring procedures.
  5. Establish deviation procedures (e.g. corrective actions).
  6. Establish verification procedures.
  7. Establish record keeping and documentation procedures.

In a mandatory HACCP environment, industry is responsible for the food that they produce and market by using a preventative approach to food safety controls while the CFIA oversees industry's compliance to the regulatory requirements for HACCP. The CFIA verifies industry's compliance with regulations using inspection activities outlined in the Compliance Verification System.

In other federally registered sectors (non meat and fish), industry has voluntarily implemented HACCP as a means of taking a proactive approach to preventing food safety problems. The CFIA currently has an inspection program in place for recognizing and auditing these HACCP systems.

The CFIA has also initiated HACCP within the non-federally registered sector by developing generic models for food considered to be higher risk and by working with other levels of government to standardize HACCP criteria across the country.

Next page: Federally regulated sectors | Previous page: Food safety programs