Food Safety & Sanitation Plans

Introduction

Sections 23 and 24 of the Food Premises Regulation (which is under the Public Health Act) were updated in 2013 to enhance food safety in British Columbia’s food processing industry. The sections require each food processor to have a written food safety plan and sanitation plan. Many food processors will have heard of these requirements from environmental health officers during inspections and have developed written plans.  If this is the first you are hearing of the requirement for written plans, please find information below that can help you meet the requirements.

If you are not a B.C. food processor, these requirements do not apply to you.

What Does this Mean to You as a Food Processor?

These regulatory changes require B.C. food processors to develop, maintain and follow a written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)-based food safety plan and sanitation plan. This includes processors that distribute in B.C. only or those who ship beyond B.C., but are not federally registered. You need to complete these plans and have them approved by your environmental health officer by March 26, 2016.

If your B.C. food processing facility is federally registered and you have written food safety and sanitation plans in place, those plans meet the B.C. Food Premises Regulation requirements. You would then already comply with the new provincial food safety regulatory requirements.

Federal registration is required for exports and interprovincial shipments in commodities such as dairy, honey, eggs, meat, fish, maple products, and fresh or processed fruits and vegetables. Federal registration may also be required for imports of these same food commodities. Many food products do not currently require federal registration for import or export. For more information on whether your company or facility should be federally registered, please review the following information on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website: food imports; food exports.

If you already have written a food safety plan and sanitation plan, check to make sure they meet the new regulatory requirements. View the full Food Premises Regulation or see the updated sections 23 and 24 (food safety). If necessary, contact your local health authority to request that an environmental health officer review your plans and provide advice on the changes needed to meet the new requirements.

How Do You Meet the Requirements?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)-based plans are a common international industry standard. If you are already operating a food processing facility, your food safety procedures will likely form a good portion of your written food safety plan and sanitation plan.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
 

What is the Purpose of the New Requirements?

The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting you as you develop your food safety and sanitation plans to:

  • Increase the number of B.C. food processors with food safety plans and sanitation plans.
  • Help the estimated 4,500 B.C. food processors comply with the Food Premises Regulation.
  • Reduce your risk and cost of food-borne illness.
  • Increase your food safety knowledge.
  • Increase consumer confidence in the safety of your product(s).

Thank you for your work to support the success and reputation of B.C.’s food processing industry.  The following tools are provided to help you write your food safety plan and sanitation plan. 

Food Safety Plans  

Food Safety Plan Workbook
This workbook explains, in easy-to-follow steps, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) requirements that must be included when writing your food safety plan. It is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Punjabi.

Food Safety Plan: Template
This web page provides an easily filled-in template for your food safety plan.

Food Safety Plans: Examples
This web page provides examples of food safety plans for different food products. These examples may help as you work through the workbook.

Sanitation Plans

Sanitation Plan Workbook
This workbook explains, in easy-to-follow steps, the Food Premises Regulation requirements that must be met when writing your sanitation plan. It is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Punjabi.

Sanitation Plan: Template
This web page provides an easily filled-in template for your sanitation plan.