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General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling
5 - Personnel

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5.1 Hygiene and Health Requirements

5.1.1 Cleanliness and Conduct

All persons entering food handling areas maintain an appropriate degree of personal cleanliness and take the appropriate precautions to prevent the contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

  • All persons who are entering food handling areas wash their hands before starting work, after handling contaminated materials, after breaks and after using toilet facilities. Where necessary to minimize microbiological contamination, employees may use disinfectant hand solutions.
  • Protective clothing, hair covering, footwear and/or gloves appropriate to the operation in which the employee is engaged are worn and maintained in a sanitary manner (e.g. employees in production areas wear effective hair coverings).
  • Any behaviour that could result in contamination of food, such as eating, use of tobacco, chewing gum, or unhygienic practices such as spitting, are prohibited in food handling areas.
  • All persons entering food handling areas remove jewellery and other objects that may fall into food, or otherwise contaminate food. Jewellery which cannot be removed, including wedding bands and medical bracelets, is covered (e.g. employees wear rubber gloves).
  • Personal effects and street clothing are not kept in food handling areas and are stored in an appropriate manner.
  • Access of personnel and visitors is controlled to prevent contamination. The traffic pattern of employees prevents cross-contamination of the product.

5.1.2 Communicable Diseases and Injuries

No person who is known to be infected with a disease likely to be transmitted through food, or who has open cuts or wounds, is permitted to work in food handling areas where there is a likelihood of the person directly or indirectly contaminating the food.

Assessment Criteria

  • The manufacturer has a policy, and enforces the policy, to prevent personnel from working in food handling areas if they are known to be suffering from a disease, or are known to be carriers of a disease, transmissible through food.
  • The manufacturer requires that employees advise management when they are suffering from a communicable disease likely to be transmitted through food. Conditions which are to be reported include:
    • jaundice;
    • diarrhoea;
    • vomiting;
    • fever;
    • sore throat with fever; and
    • discharge from the ears, eyes or nose.
  • Employees having open cuts or wounds do not handle food or food contact surfaces unless the injury is completely protected by a secure waterproof covering (e.g. rubber gloves).

5.2 Training

5.2.1 General Food Hygiene Training

Food handlers are trained in personal hygiene and hygienic handling of food, and they understand the precautions necessary to prevent the contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

  • The manufacturer has a written training program for employees that is delivered as follows:
    • appropriate training in personal hygiene and hygienic handling of food is provided to all food handlers at the beginning of their employment;
    • food hygiene training is reinforced and updated at appropriate intervals, and each time the food handler changes duties, if applicable.

5.2.2 Technical Training

To ensure food safety, accuracy of product representation and net quantity, personnel are trained such that they have adequate technical knowledge and understanding of the operation(s) or process(es) for which they are responsible.

Assessment Criteria

  • Training is appropriate to the complexity of the manufacturing process and the tasks assigned. Examples are listed below.
    • Personnel are trained to understand the importance of the critical factors for which they are responsible; the critical limits, the procedures for monitoring, the action to be taken if the limits are not met, the labelling requirements and the records to be kept.
    • All employees, including maintenance and customer services employees, are trained to implement allergen controls.
    • Operators are trained to have current knowledge of equipment and process technology (e.g. apprenticeship training, training for retort operators or pasteurization operators).
    • Personnel responsible for the maintenance of equipment impacting on food safety have been appropriately trained to identify deficiencies that could affect product safety, and to take the appropriate corrective action (e.g. in-house repairs, contract repairs). Individuals performing maintenance on specific equipment are appropriately trained.
    • Personnel and supervisors responsible for the sanitation program are appropriately trained to understand the principles and methods required for effective cleaning and sanitizing.
    • Personnel and supervisors responsible for water treatment and water safety monitoring are appropriately trained to understand the principles and methods and are competent in procedures to protect the safety of food.
    • Training is appropriate to ensure that personnel have a current understanding of Canadian food legislation (e.g. the manufacturer has trained personnel responsible for label development, design and sign-off).
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