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Monitoring procedures for your preventive control plan


Establishing monitoring procedures for Critical Control Points (CCP) is an integral part of preparing an effective Preventive Control Plan (PCP). It is also the fourth principle in the internationally recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach to food safety.

The purpose of monitoring CCPs is to ensure that control measures are under control and that deviations from the critical limits are detected in time to regain control of the process and prevent the production of unsafe products.

What is monitoring?

Monitoring is defined by the Codex Alimentarius as the act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a control measure is under control.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) created this document as guidance to help food business operators comply with the regulations set out in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

It's your choice

You may use other guidance that has been developed by provincial governments, industry associations, international partners or academic bodies as long as they can achieve the same outcome. Always ensure that the guidance you choose is relevant for your particular business, product or products, and market requirements.

What is included

The document outlines:

Refer to the Tell me more! section for additional sources of information that may help you establish monitoring procedures.

What is not included

The document does not provide information related to monitoring devices/equipment and the associated maintenance and calibration measures that should be considered.

The examples provided are not exhaustive. The monitoring activities will depend on the size and complexity of the food business and be unique for each business.

Roles and responsibilities

Food businesses are responsible for complying with the law. They demonstrate compliance by ensuring that the commodities and processes for which they are responsible meet regulatory requirements. If a written PCP is required, the food business develops a PCP with supporting documents, monitors and maintains evidence of its implementation, and verifies that all control measures are effective.

The CFIA verifies the compliance of a food business by conducting activities that include inspection, and surveillance. When non-compliance is identified, the CFIA takes appropriate compliance and enforcement actions.

Monitoring procedures

You establish and document monitoring procedures for each CCP. These procedures describe how the on-going collection of observations or measurements of control parameters are conducted to assess whether:

Design your monitoring procedures so that they provide timely information about the acceptability of the product. Monitoring activities are typically "real-time" measurements so that deviations from the critical limit can be quickly identified and corrective actions taken to bring the product and the process back under control.

Identify in your procedure any forms that will be used to record the results of the monitoring activities. It is essential that you record actual values on these forms (for example, time, temperature, pH) so that they can be used for verification purposes and as proof that monitoring took place and that critical limits were met.

Considerations when writing the procedure

When writing monitoring procedures, you need to describe them in enough detail to ensure that they are carried out correctly and consistently.

Every monitoring procedure should answer the following questions.

Frequency of monitoring activities

Set a frequency that is:

You may need to adjust the frequency of monitoring if something happens or changes. For example, you might increase the frequency of monitoring after a change in a critical limit, a change in the process, a deviation, or new validation data.

Monitoring activities at a CCP

Some types of monitoring activities at a CCP may include:

Tell me more! Further reading

The following references contain information that helps explain food safety controls, demonstrates how to develop them, and provides examples. The CFIA is not responsible for the content of documents that are created by other government agencies or international sources.

CFIA references

Other references

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