What are (HACCP & PCP) Requirements for GFSI Certification?

What are (HACCP & PCP) Requirements for GFSI Certification?

HACCP, PCP, GMP, GFSI Certification

Since the publishing of the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations in 2017, there is now a requirement for a Preventative Control Plan (PCP) for your food facility or food program. This blog aims to explain several different programs and certifications that a food facility may want to consider for your sites or products.

HACCP, PCP, or GFSI are GMP-related programs (Training) that can be used in your food processing or storage facility that will help to ensure high-quality and safe products are being made. Having programs like these in place can help protect your company from a food safety incident or issue.

Hazard Analysis Control Point (HACCP)

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a program designed for the evaluation and oversight of biological, chemical, and physical hazards, throughout (from start to finish) the production and life cycle of your product. From the raw material to final human/consumer consumption. HACCP plans are tailored to the product and processes of the facility to ensure a high level of food safety for consumers. HACCP plans are broken into seven principles:

  1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis
  2. Identify Critical Control Points
  3. Establish Critical Limits
  4. Monitor Critical Control Points
  5. Establish Corrective Actions
  6. Establish Record Keeping Procedures
  7. Establish Verification Procedures

Auditing and review of the Food Safety Plan (HACCP) are keys to ensuring it is running properly and producing a safe and high-quality product. If your processes change, it will likely require a change to your HACCP plan as well.

Preventive Control Plan (PCP)

The Preventative Control Plan (PCP) is like a HACCP Program as mentioned above. But with a greater focus on documentation and traceability. This is aimed at controlling and addressing any risk to food and food animals. This would explain how hazards to your products are identified, prevented, and eliminated to a level deemed acceptable. The main principles of PCP are:

  1. Explain biological, chemical, and physical hazards associated with the product/food.
  2. Document how you will handle each hazard identified.
  3. Provide plan information for development.
  4. Show how the plan is used and implemented.

Need help with your HACCP, PCP, or GFSI GMP-Related Programs?

This type of plan is required within and to meet the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations and is required to hold a Food Import license. Health Canada has published several helpful guidance documents and policies to help you determine if you need a PCP plan and how to start creating it.  

GFSI Certification

The Global Food Safety Initiative Certification (GFSI) is a trusted process for confirming high standards in food safety. The concept is aiming to allow a holder to access multiple markets with this approval. You are required to undergo an audit by a certifying company of your internal practices, policies, and facility to obtain this type of certification.

In summary, a HACCP program will usually incorporate all elements of the PCP program, and you would use this plan in daily activities. This plan would be reviewed when applying for any certifications such as GFSI. Please reach out to our team of specialists to discuss a Food Safety Program that may suit your products or facilities.

Working with regulatory consultants such as Quality Smart Solutions and Quality Import Solutions will help bring your products into Canada in a safe and compliant manner. We hold a Safe Foods for Canadians Import License (SFCR) which allows us to provide quality sites for our clients. Please reach out to our team of specialists for all your Food Regulatory needs!


  1. https://www.fda.gov/food/guidance-regulation-food-and-dietary-supplements/hazard-analysis-critical-control-point-haccp
  2. https://inspection.canada.ca/preventive-controls/preventive-control-plans/eng/1512152894577/1512152952810
  3. https://mygfsi.com/how-to-implement/certification/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=home-shortcut

How can Quality Smart Solutions serve you?

Firstly, QSS can help with formula review, product labeling, and nutrition facts creation (for Canada and the USA).

Secondly, we can also help with registering supplemented foods with TMALs (Temporary Market Authorization License) or reviewing when the new Supplemented Food Regulations are published. 

Thirdly, we help with Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (HACCP, PCP, Import Licensing, and GRAS Notifications). 

Help with facility registration, FSVP agent, and US Agent. 

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