Food Safety Guidebook

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Food safety systems | HACCP systems explained | Documentation and record keeping | Premises program | Transportation and storage program | Equipment program | Personnel training program | Sanitation program | Pest management program | Recall plan | Allergen control program | Supplier food safety assurance | Product protection program | HACCP plan | Maintaining the HACCP system | Glossary of food safety terms | Questions to ask when conducting a hazard analysis | Basic food microbiology | Food safety risk analysis |

The Food Safety Guidebook has been developed by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development to assist you in developing a food safety system. The information can be adapted and modified to meet your facility needs. To download the entire guidebook, click on the PDF icon found in the upper right hand corner of this web document. To request a hard copy of the guidebook, email the Food Safety Team.

Sample forms are included in the Food Safety Guidebook and posted on this website in word format. Feel free to use and alter them to work best for your facility's food safety program.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the chapters. If you do not have Adobe Reader, click on the link at the left to download a free copy.

Chapter 1Food Safety Systems
Food processors have an obligation to ensure they produce the safest food possible. The best way to ensure that the food you produce is safe is to develop a food safety system.
Chapter 2 HACCP Systems Explained
This chapter gives an overview of HACCP and explains the basic requirements to set up and maintain an effective and successful HACCP system.
Chapter 3Documentation and Record Keeping
This chapter explains the importance of documents and record keeping. It also shows how they differ and recommends the best approaches for developing written programs and records.
Chapter 4Developing a Premises Program
This chapter explains the importance of developing an effective premises program. It describes the various aspects of a premises program and how to develop the program and associated records.
.Premises Program Forms
Chapter 5Developing a Transportation and Storage Program
This chapter explains how to effectively transport, handle and store ingredients, packaging materials, chemicals and finish products. You will learn how to receive goods, inspect carriers, and properly transport and store goods that require refrigeration or freezing. Also learn how to develop a chemical control program.
.Transportation and Storage Program Forms
Chapter 6 Developing an Equipment Program
This chapter explains how to develop an equipment program. Sanitary facility design, preventative maintenance and equipment calibration are the key components of this chapter.
.Equipment Program Forms
Chapter 7Developing a Personnel Training Program
Personnel training, personal hygiene, and food handling practices are very important contributors to food safety. This chapter covers all aspects of personnel training including technical training and the need for on-going training. Also, learn important considerations for developing an effective training program for adults and ESL (English as a Second Language) learners.
.Personnel Training Program Forms
Chapter 8Development of a Sanitation Program
This chapter covers all aspects of sanitation, including proper cleaning methods, how to develop and document a sanitation program, how to verify and validate your sanitation procedures, and different considerations for cleaning different types of operations.
.Sanitation Program Forms
Chapter 9 Developing a Pest Management Program
Learn different methods for pest control, and how to develop and document an effective pest management program.
.Pest Management Program Forms
Chapter 10Development of a Recall Plan
This chapter will teach you how to develop an effective recall program and customer complaint system. It will cover important topics such as traceability, communication, and mock recalls. Sample records are also available for this chapter.
.Recall Plan Forms
Chapter 11Developing an Allergen Control Program
Learn all the important aspects of an effective allergen control program including identification, proper storage and handling, employee training, and labelling and packaging of finished products. Effective allergen identification and control is a very important aspect of food safety.
Allergen Program Forms
Chapter 12Supplier Food Safety Assurance
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Food from unsafe sources is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness and product recalls. This chapter will teach you how to develop an effective supplier food safety assurance program including how to develop product specifications and how to evaluate suppliers.
Supplier Food Safety Assurance Program Forms
Chapter 13Product Protection Program
It is very important to control the critical factors to food safety, either via HACCP Plans or a Product Protection program. Learn what the critical factors to food safety are and how to effectively control these hazards.
.Product Protection Form
Chapter 14Developing and Implementing a HACCP Plan
Learn all about the 7 Principles of HACCP and the 12 steps of HACCP. Also get introduced to the HACCP forms and how to fill them out. This is the A to Z of HACCP plan development.
.HACCP Plan Forms

Chapter 15 Managing and Maintaining the HACCP System

This chapter covers verification and validation of your HACCP system, and how to set up an internal auditing system. Also learn how to maintain your food safety or HACCP system, including required documentation.
.HACCP System Maintenance Forms

Appendix A - Glossary of Food Safety Related Terms

Appendix B - Questions to Ask When Conducting a Hazard Analysis

This appendix provides questions you can ask to help conduct a hazard analysis. This includes considerations for ingredients, facility design, equipment, packaging, sanitation, employees, intended consumer and more.

Appendix C - Basic Food Microbiology

Learn about food microorganisms that can cause illness and factors to help control their growth.

Appendix D - Food Safety Risk Analysis

Learn the difference between hazards and risks, and information to help conduct a risk assessment.

While Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development has produced this guidebook, it does not guarantee that the information or materials provided will identify all the potential risks and all measures that may be required to eliminate or manage the food safety risks associated with your food production facility. You are not required to use all materials contained within. Risk management is the responsibility of the food processor, and therefore it will be your responsibility to determine your facilities needs.

This guidebook has been developed to assist Alberta food processors in developing and implementing their own food safety systems. Government regulations and their requirements take precedence over all information contained in this manual. It is the responsibility of the food processor to determine which regulations apply to the food products they are producing and to meet these regulations before implementing any changes within their facility structure or processes.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kelly Sawka.
This document is maintained by Amrit Matharu.
This information published to the web on August 20, 2008.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 30, 2017.