What Is HACCP?

Hazard Compliance - How To Get certified

Having a great HACCP plan in your facility is one thing; certification is another. More customers prefer to work with facilities that have their HACCP certification, as it verifies that the food processing and handling meet all of our country's compliance standards

HACCP Explained: Understanding Hazard Analysis

It has seven principles:

  1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis: This identifies potential hazards that could occur in the production process.
  2. Identify Critical Control Points: This step recognizes and classes the critical control points (CCPs) where potential hazards could happen.
  3. Establish Critical Limits: "Critical limits" standard that must be met for each CCP, and they may be based on CFIA rules and regulations.
  4. Monitor Critical Control Points: These make sure that each CCP stays within its limit. The materials and devices identified as CCPs may require measuring or other evaluations to understand the process.
  5. Establish Corrective Actions: If the audit identifies a problem with a CCP, the facility must put corrective action into place to prevent any potential no health hazards.
  6. Establish Record Keeping Procedures: Records document the HACCP system to ensure that it works properly, and can be used during the surveillance audit.
  7. Establish Verification Procedures: Verification may involve examining all parts of the HACCP plan, including CCP records, critical limits, and regular microbial sampling. These can be conducted by inspectors and qualified plant personnel.

The seven steps of this hazard analysis identify any physical, chemical, and biological hazards that may pose a risk to your food product. It also ascertains the control measures you need to implement to reduce, eliminate and prevent the hazards identified to an acceptable level, as required under section 47 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

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How Do You Achieve HACCP Certification?

To become HACCP certified, you need to successfully pass a third-party certification audit provided by a qualified food safety auditor. They use the seven principles to validate your HACCP system against your documentation. Once you pass, you’ll receive a certificate along with instructions for marketing yourself as a HACCP-certified organization.

How Long Does An HACCP Audit Take?

Depending on the scope of the inspection and the size of the facility, HACCP audits generally take between one and five days. Once the initial certification audit is complete, your facility must also pass a two-year surveillance audit. Your certification body may or may not tell you about the surveillance audit in advance. So, you need to keep your HACCP standards up-to-date at all times.

Do I Need HACCP Certification?

Depending on your business and location, HACCP can be necessary for the operation of a food processing and handling facility. For example, in Canada, HACCP became mandatory for federally registered meat and poultry establishments in 2005. But even in parts of the industry where it's not necessary, HACCP certification is never a bad thing.

Even if you're not in a part of the food supply chain where these standards are necessary, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recommends that all businesses adopt HACCP processing standards.

Why Is HACCP So Important?

Having HACCP certification is necessary for getting other certifications like Safe Food Quality (SQF) and Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards (BRCGS). Food processing and handling facilities have many potential hazards, from cleaning chemicals to bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The only way to protect customers, the public, your business and yourself from these hazards is through food safety training, education, and constant check-ups and recordkeeping.

Quantum Food Solutions is a leader in food safety audits and consultancy, including for HACCP. See how we deliver Practitioner Training, offer templates for your HACCP program, and read our guide to how you can start the process in your facility.

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HACCP Certification Testimonials

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Dinesh Chinnaswamy
Director, Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Sofina Foods Inc., Markham, ON

"We have hired Renzo Gomez from Quantum Food Solutions as an independent third party to evaluate our cooking and cooling processes (smokehouses, spiral oven, chillers) in some of our plants. This work has enabled us to demonstrate product safety to our clients and CFIA. We were also able to improve product quality while gaining process efficiencies. We highly recommend their services, and we look forward to working with them again."

Margaret P. Morris
President, Glengarry Cheesemaking Inc., Glengarry Fine Cheese, Lancaster, On

"We have since a few months received our federal (CFIA) dairy processing permit. This would not have happened without your guiding hand. You brought us through the process very readily and logically and now we continue to follow the programs and feel very confident with the HACCP program that was designed for our plant. We would highly recommend your services to other artisan cheese making plants, as it gives a lot more scope for marketing which is so important for any food processor."

Daniel Dorigiola
Co-Owner / QA Manager, Venetian Meat and Salami Co. Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario

“We have used the services from Quantum Food Solutions for a number of years to help us manage our written food safety program and validate our food safety controls (e.g., cooking, cooling, fermented/dry-cured products). We are very pleased with their practical approach to resolving issues and finding opportunities for process improvement. We certainly appreciate the high level of service they continue to provide our company and highly recommend their services”.

Pawel Zwerello
General Manager, Sikorski Sausages, London, Ontario

“Renzo is very knowledgeable in Food Sciences, and we hired him as a process authority to help us approve a custom process, which received ‘no objection’ from CFIA. Renzo works in an efficient, professional and timely manner. We look forward to working with Renzo in the future, and have no reservations on recommending him to others looking to improve their processes and take their Food Safety to the next level. Thanks Quantum!”

Marius Kamerbeek
Plant Manager, Erie Meats, Listowel, Ontario

“We manufacture cooked meat and poultry products at our federal facility. We hired Quantum to evaluate our cooking processes including our smokehouses and spiral oven. We appreciate their high quality of service that has enabled us to comply with CFIA and FSIS requirements. We certainly recommend their services.”

Pete Holowachuk
Quality Manager, Winkler Meats Ltd., Winkler, Manitoba.

“We are a CFIA inspected plant certificated to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. Renzo came to us highly recommended and we have contracted him on multiple occasions to validate our cooking and chilling processes. He uses a practical approach and specialized tools that allow him to provide a fairly comprehensive service. We look forward to working with him again and definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a robust, yet affordable food safety service.”

Stefan Cartmale
General Manager, Bright Cheese Ltd., Bright, Ontario.

“Thank you Quantum for all of the work to help us attain BRC certification. It has been one of the most rewarding achievements of my lifetime and I am so proud that we were able to achieve the BRC AA rating! By doing so, it has opened many new doors for us and also enable us to expand and continue to grow our business. We definitely recommend Quantum’s food safety services."

Ramon Eberle
Plant Manager, Stonetown Artisan Cheese Ltd., St. Marys, Ontario.

"This is to acknowledge that Renzo Gomez from Quantum Food Solutions facilitated the
installation of a solid HACCP plan, which allowed us to reach our goal of becoming federally licensed with CFIA. Thanks to our upgraded food safety standards, we were able to get in to business with Farm Boy and sell our product in new markets outside of Ontario. His service is affordably priced, very streamlined and his communication is honest and straight forward. It was a pleasure to work with Renzo Gomez and we are looking forward to work with him again in the future”

Julia Banton
Vice President of Operations, Kitchen Partners Limited, Edmonton, Alberta.

“Renzo has a wealth of knowledge, whilst maintaining a logical and common sense outlook to the tasks ahead. His approach is unique to that of other consultants I have worked with, in that he is pragmatic and makes light work of global codes/standards. We definitely look forward to continuing to work together and highly recommend Quantum to anyone looking to upgrade their food safety and quality systems.”

Roma Bathi
Quality Assurance Director, Golden Valley Farms Inc.

"We contracted Quantum Food Solutions to evaluate our cooking procedures. This work enabled us to gain a greater understanding of our cooking process and provided a baseline to make further process improvements."

Yashwini Murali
Quality Systems Project Lead, FGF Brands

"We hired Quantum Food Solutions to help us analyze some of our baking ovens. Renzo was able to quickly and effectively come up with the best solution to uncover opportunities within our baking equipment. We certainly recommend Quantum for their thermal process knowledge and versatility."

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