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Fact sheet: Preventive food safety controls

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

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Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), most businesses need to put in place preventive food safety controls to:

Also, most businesses need to document their food safety controls in a preventive control plan (PCP). Exceptions to this requirement are:

Find out if and when you need a PCP by using our preventive control plan interactive tool. It only takes 5 minutes.

Preventive food safety controls

Preventive controls help to prevent food safety hazards and reduce the likelihood of contaminated food entering the market, whether they are prepared within or outside of Canada.

Preventive food safety controls address hazards and risks in such areas as:

What is a PCP?

A PCP is a written document that demonstrates how risks to food and food animals are identified and controlled. The controls are based on internationally recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. The PCP also includes a description of measures taken related to packaging, labelling, grades and standards of identity.

For importers, a PCP describes how the importer and its foreign suppliers are meeting preventive food safety control requirements.

Why it matters

Industry is responsible for preparing, exporting and importing safe food. Preventive food safety controls help businesses to identify and correct issues early in the production process.

While many food businesses already have preventive controls in place, applying food safety requirements more broadly further enhances the safety of food across sectors. This better protects Canadians, helps avoid costly recalls, and ensures continued market access with countries that require similar food safety measures and mandatory control systems.

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