Fact Sheet FSS Section 11 (Monitor and Control Safe Food Processes)

Principle 2:  Identify critical control points.

A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in food process at which control can be applied and, as a result, a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to an acceptable level. A food safety hazard is any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.

Once the hazards are identified, the aim is to prevent them from occurring, or if they do occur, prevent them from becoming a potential food poisoning.

A critical control point is a place, step, or process where hazards can be reduced, controlled or eliminated.

Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each critical control points.

A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level.

What is the limit at each identified control point?

Critical control limits are measurable:

  • Acidity (pH)
  • temperature (oC)
  • moisture (Aw)
  • time
  • use by dates

Principle 4: Establish critical point monitoring requirements.

Monitoring activities are necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point.

How do we know if hazards are controlled?

  • Monitoring is checking temperatures, checking dates and other visual examinations. 
  • You could monitor by using a thermometer to take temperatures, 
  • You could also monitor employees. You could watch staff to make sure that they were following guidelines of personal hygiene.  
  • Operating temperatures for processing foods vary depending on the food product. It is your responsibility to know the temperature requirements for storing, preparing and processing food products.

Principle 5: Establish corrective actions.

These are actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit. The final rule requires a plant’s HACCP plan to identify the corrective actions to be taken if a critical limit is not met. Corrective actions are intended to ensure that no product injurious to health or otherwise adulterated as a result of the deviation enters commerce.

What should be done if something is not right? Who has the authority to make the decision?

There are three key steps that need to occur when the Monitoring function detects a situation outside the Critical Limits and a corrective action is required:  

  1. If you discover a food safety hazard, e.g. a delivery of potentially hazardous food is above 5 ℃.
  2. Correction of the Process — Determine a process which prevents this from occurring again.
  3. Documentation of the Event — records need to be kept that describe the outcome of the corrective action, particularly at CCPs.  This is for review purposes, and to prove that the appropriate corrective action relating to the product has been taken. 
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