Training & Support Tools - 10.2 Written Practices

Workers can inadvertently cause a food safety hazard if they do not follow written practices.

Written Practices

Workers can inadvertently cause a food safety hazard if they do not follow written practices.

This good agricultural practice applies to all farms

What Needs to Be Done

Provide written practices for tasks that impact food safety.

How to do it

Why Write Practices?

  • To identify duties and tasks that workers are to perform.
  • To help maintain quality, consistency and safety of food products.
    • To reduce the likelihood of mistakes that can cause delays, cost money or make people ill, and
    • To ensure that all regulations that may apply are followed.
  • To provide effective training tools for new workers or refresher training for current workers.
  • To serve as reference material in the case of an audit.
    • To provide a snapshot of how you are meeting food safety requirements in your operation.

What Should Written Practices Look Like?

Use a template for written practices so that all practices have a similar look and include all the required information. A written practice should include:

Tips for Writing Effective Practices

  • Be concise and to the point.
  • Be practical and test the practices on the machinery being used or the area of production involved.
  • Use pictures or graphics where possible to clearly demonstrate tasks.
  • Record the date on every practice to show how current it is.
  • Identify the author of the practice.

Posting Practices

Where possible, post your written practices in a clearly visible location to:

  • Allow new workers to refer to the practices easily;
  • Enable co-workers to coach each other on the proper way to perform a task;
  • Highlight regulatory requirements for food safety (for example, proper disposal of farm wastes, deadstock).

Reviewing & Updating

Practices should be reviewed periodically and updated when:

  • New duties or food safety requirements are implemented;
  • Changes need to be made to a process or task;
  • Corrective action needs to take place in the event of a food safety recall.

Contingency Plans

Providing workers with special instructions for when things go wrong can be part of a written practice or separate, and could include:

  • A list of emergency contacts,
  • Actions to take immediately, and
  • Additional records that need to be completed.

Sample Written Practices

As well as providing a blank template, we have included some examples of written practices for you to use as guides. They can be used as is or modified to suit the needs of your own farm. The examples included in the Appendices and Support Tools are for the following good agricultural practices:

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