Fact sheet - Hazard identification and analysis

The information in this document is based on requirements set out in the proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022 (the "regulations"). The information is intended to help regulated parties understand the requirements within the regulations once they come into force. The proposed requirements are subject to change as the regulatory process advances through its various stages. In the interim, current laws applicable to livestock feed in Canada continue to apply.

The proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022 will impact a variety of stakeholders, including:

  • single ingredient feed manufacturers and suppliers
  • mixed feed manufacturers and suppliers (for example, commercial feed mills, specialty feed manufacturers, etc.)
  • rendering facilities manufacturing livestock feed ingredients
  • feed retail outlets
  • livestock producers (on-farm feed mills)
  • feed importers
  • feed exporters

Under the proposed Feeds Regulations, 2022, most feed establishments will be required to identify the biological, chemical and physical hazards associated with their feed related activities, and analyze these hazards to determine if they present a risk of contamination. This is a new regulatory requirement.

This fact sheet applies to you if you conduct any of the following feed-related activities:

  • manufacturing
  • storing
  • packaging
  • labelling
  • selling
  • exporting

The regulations do not apply for feeds made on-farm by livestock producers as long as the feed is not sold off the farm and is not medicated.


A hazard is a biological, chemical or physical agent in feed, that, when not controlled, has the potential to cause an adverse effect on animal health, human health or the environment.

Types of hazards

Biological hazards

Biological hazards include microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and prions. Some microorganisms can cause illnesses and other microorganisms can produce harmful toxins.

Examples of sources of biological hazards include:

  • incoming ingredients, including raw materials
  • cross-contamination during processing, storage, and transportation
  • employees
  • feed contact surfaces
  • insects and rodents

Chemical hazards

Chemical hazards can include contaminants (metals and elements, radionuclides, processing aids, dioxins) as well as veterinary drug and pesticide residues, and natural toxins. Some chemical hazards occur naturally while others are intentionally or unintentionally added during manufacturing and processing.

Examples of chemical hazards include:

  • chemicals intentionally used in feed manufacturing such as processing aids, feed additives, medicating ingredients
  • chemicals that are by-products of processing
  • chemical contamination from equipment
  • industrial chemicals such as cleaning agents and disinfection agents
  • naturally occurring toxins such as mycotoxins, histamines, marine biotoxins
  • agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers
  • nutrients such as over-addition of vitamins or minerals

Physical hazards

Physical hazards in feed include many types of extraneous material that may be introduced anywhere along the production chain, from primary production up to and including the farm (livestock producers). Extraneous materials can be introduced by anything or anyone coming in contact with feed, including during processing, transportation or storage. Extraneous materials are considered to be hazards if they result in risk of harm to the animal who consumes the feed or there is a risk of contamination of the food of animal origin (eggs, dairy products and by-products, and meat) consumed by humans.

Examples of physical hazards include:

  • stones, rocks and dirt
  • metal (commonly associated with processing activities such as grinding or cutting operations, as well as packaging materials or containers)
  • glass, plastic or other contaminants from packaging materials or containers, or from the processing environment
  • wood splinters from broken pallets or packaging material
  • flaking paint from overhead structures or equipment

Hazard identification and analysis

Feed establishments conduct hazard identification and analysis to identify the specific biological, chemical and physical hazards associated with both the materials used, and the processes employed at the feed establishment.

Hazard identification and analysis takes into account the effect of any factor relating to the safety of the feed, such as:

  • formulation of the feed
  • ingredients of the feed, including raw materials
  • concentration of any inherent contaminant in the feed
  • manufacturing, processing, packaging and labelling procedures of the feed
  • storage and distribution of the feed
  • transportation practices
  • intended purpose of the feed
  • condition, function, design and sanitation of the facility and equipment
  • employee hygiene
  • weather conditions

In the hazard identification step, hazards from all inputs and processing steps are listed, described, and classified. Then, in the hazard analysis step, hazards are evaluated according to their significance.

Once the hazard identification and analysis is completed, control measures are applied to prevent, eliminate or reduce each hazard identified to an acceptable level. Feed establishments must demonstrate that their control measures are effective.

In addition, critical control points (CCPs), critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions procedures, and verification procedures must be established in relation to each significant hazard.

Benefits of hazard analysis

Identifying and analyzing hazards is the first step in a preventive control approach. This allows feed establishments to be proactive in managing hazards. Proactive control of hazards helps to protect feed and food safety and can be more cost effective than a feed safety investigation.