What is a HACCP Plan and Food Handler’s (HACCP Certification) in 2023?

What is a HACCP Plan?

Food safety is always evolving and becoming more complex, as companies require constant updating with safety regulations and industry trends. Before discussing what a HACCP Plan is, let’s talk about the importance of Food Safety Training. According to Health Canada, an average of four million cases of foodborne illness occur every year, over 11,000 Canadians are hospitalized, and more than 200 people die. Food safety incidents are serious and should not be taken lightly. The solution to reducing and preventing such negative consequences is proper food safety training. HACCP Certification and Food Handler’s certification are two methods to ensure food safety procedures are put into place.

What is the Importance of your HACCP Plan?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points is a system that establishes safety guidelines in all stages of food production and processing. HACCP Plan Certification analyzes and manages physical, chemical, and biological hazards in food production and handling, all the way up to distribution and consumption of the food products.

There are 7 principles of HACCP Plan certification that ensure food products are consumed as safely as possible.

To be reputable and trustworthy, this certification is expected in any organization that is involved in the food production business. In countries like Canada and the USA, HACCP Plan Certification is mandatory and annually audited. Overall, this prevents risks that can lead to severe financial, legal, and health consequences.

What is the Importance of the Food Handler’s Certification?

For many of us, food handling practices are considered common sense, as they are such a frequent occurrence in everyday life. However, “common sense” is not on par with the level of professionalism required to serve food products to the public.

Food Handler's Certification

The majority of food-borne illnesses are caused by food-handling mistakes, improper food preparation, mishandling equipment, and poor personal hygiene. A Food Handler’s Certificate ensures front line workers must:

  • Understand how food becomes contaminated
  • Understand causes of food-borne illness
  • Know how to store, prepare, cook, and serve food
  • Know how to clean equipment, supplies, and surroundings

Obtaining a Food Handler’s certificate ensures the knowledge and skills are acquired to handle food safely at a higher standard. There are also numerous benefits that a Food Hander’s certificate can serve:

  • Protect the business reputation
  • Prevent customer complaints and media scrutiny
  • Reduce unnecessary operational costs such as pest control and food wastage

Avoid legal fines or business closures.

Why is Food Safety Training Essential?

The HACCP Plan and the Food Handler’s Certificate are important in today’s food industry, as consumers demand higher quality, and government agencies are critical in food safety measures. Food safety training is essential as it is mandatory in many countries. Legal and financial penalties can occur if companies and workers fail to obtain training.  Quality Smart Solutions delivers high-end training and consultation to help your business grow and comply with industry safety standards. To find out more on our services, do not hesitate to contact us.


Health Canada expedites access to COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory test kits and other medical devices

Recently in Canada, the Minister of Health has signed an Interim Order to allow expedited access to COVID-19-related medical devices for use by healthcare providers, including diagnostic test kits. This Interim Order will help ensure quicker and more flexible approval of the importation and sale of medical devices that are necessary for Canada’s response to COVID-19.

Nucleic acid amplification testing is the diagnostic technology used by public health laboratories across Canada and around the world for diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. As such, diagnostic tests using nucleic acid technology are being prioritized for review to increase the number of tests available in Canada to detect active infections of COVID-19. 

Devices using serological technology are also being accepted for review. However, this type of testing is not currently recommended by the World Health Organization as it do not detect the virus itself. Instead, they detect the antibodies produced in response to an infection which can delay the detecting from days to weeks.

The expedited authorization pathways under the Interim Order

  • new COVID-19-medical devices that are not yet licensed in Canada or other jurisdictions,
  • existing COVID-19-medical devices licensed in Canada expanding its indication for use to include COVID-19-related uses
  • existing COVID-19 medical devices that has obtained authorization from a trusted foreign regulatory authority

Expedited Review Process

  • Manufacturers are required to submit an abbreviated application to support the safety, effectiveness and quality of their medical device. 
  • The fees associated with an application are waived. 
  • Manufacturers applying through this pathway will not be required to hold a Medical Device Single Audit Programme (MDSAP) certification. 

Reporting Requirements

Manufacturers will still be required to follow strict post-market safety requirements such as mandatory problem reporting, recall procedures and complaint handling.

As with all drugs and medical devices, Health Canada will continue to assess and monitor the safety and effectiveness of all products authorized under the Interim Order, and will take immediate action if required to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

If you or your company is looking to market your COVID-19-related medical devices in Canada, now is the time act. Quality Smart Solutions has a team of experts who can provide product licensing, label compliance, and import solutions for you. Get prepared now and contact us today to discuss how we can be your solution!

Quality Smart Solutions is an end-to-end compliance solutions expert which has been assisting over 500 clients worlwide for 14 years in the areas of Dietary Supplements/NHPs, Foods, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, OTC products in Canada and the United States. Ask us for details or visit our website at

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