Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods (2023): Appendix A, Glossary
The following terms have the following meaning for the purpose of the Listeria policy.
- Control measure
- Any action or activity that can be used to prevent or eliminate a hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level. (CAC, 2020)
- Corrective action
- Any action taken when a deviation occurs in order to re-establish control, segregate and determine the disposition of the affected product if any and prevent or minimize reoccurrence of the deviation. (CAC, 2020)
- Critical Control Point (CCP)
- A step at which a control measure or control measures, essential to control a significant hazard, is/are applied in a HACCP system. (CAC, 2020)
- Section 2 of the Food and Drugs Act defines 'food' as follows: Food includes any article manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for human beings, chewing gum, and any ingredient that may be mixed with food for any purpose whatever. (aliment) (Government of Canada, 2023a)
- Food safety system
- Managerial and administrative structures and processes to facilitate food safety program's design and delivery, ongoing maintenance, evaluation and continual improvement.
- Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
- A generic term that includes all key conditions and practices by primary agricultural producers (for example, farms that grow crops, raise animals (including fish), or harvest plants, animals or animal products (CAC, 2020)) to reduce the risk of product contamination.
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
- A generic term that includes all key conditions and control measures during processing that is necessary for manufacturers to produce safe food of suitable quality.
- Harbourage site
- A harbourage site (also sometimes referred to as a niche) is an area where bacteria thrive (that is, can survive and grow) over a long time period.
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
- A system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards that are significant for food safety. (CAC, 2009b)
- HACCP plan
- 'The written document that is based on the principles of HACCP and that delineates the procedures to be followed' by food manufacturers. (NACMCF, 1998)
- Health risk assessment
- A process which integrates a hazard identification, hazard characterization and exposure assessment determination to obtain a unique risk estimate. (Health Canada, 2011)
- Health risk levels
- Health Risk 1: The health risk identified represents a situation where there is a reasonable probability that the consumption/exposure to a food will lead to adverse health consequences which are serious or life-threatening, or that the probability of a foodborne outbreak situation is considered high. (Health Canada, 2011)
- Health Risk 2: The health risk identified represents a situation where there is a reasonable probability that the consumption/exposure to a food will lead to temporary or non-life threatening health consequences, or that the probability of serious adverse consequences is considered remote. (Health Canada, 2011)
- Hermetically sealed container
- Section B.27.001 of Division 27, Part B (Foods) of the Food and Drug Regulations defines 'hermetically sealed container' as follows: Hermetically sealed container means a container designed and intended to be secure against the entry of microorganisms, including spores. (récipient hermétiquement fermé) (Government of Canada, 2023d)
- Implicated ready-to-eat foods
- At a minimum, all the foods processed on the same line (that is, using the same equipment) as the tested foods may be considered implicated when samples in the tested lot contain L. monocytogenes at levels exceeding those specified in Table 1. It should be noted that results from root cause analysis may also trigger the need to include additional foods as part of the implicated foods.
- A number of pieces of equipment (for example, slicers, tables, conveyors, packaging or filling machines) used in series in the post-process areas where foods are exposed to the environment prior to packaging.
- A lot consists of all of the same food type processed on a given line, between 2 complete sanitation cycles. It is strongly recommended that the time between 2 cycles be a maximum of 1 day.
- Low-moisture foods
- Foods that have a water activity (aw) of 0.85 or below. (CAC, 2018)
- Immature seedlings of edible plants harvested above the growth media after 10 to 21 days, between full development of cotyledons and appearance of the first true leaves. (Riggio et al., 2019)
- The act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a control measure is under control. (CAC, 2020)
- Repetitive positive food contact surface test results, for example, 2 positive results for Listeria spp. from the same production line (that is, using the same equipment) in the ready-to-eat food manufacturing environment within a short timeframe. This timeframe is operation-specific and will vary based on factors such as production volume, production seasonality and testing frequency.
- Post-packaging treatment
- An additional treatment applied to packaged ready-to-eat foods to reduce the levels of, or to eliminate, L. monocytogenes present on the surface of foods due to the introduction of L. monocytogenes onto ready-to-eat foods during post-processing, prior to packaging (for example, surface heat pasteurization, high-pressure processing).
- The exposure of food to the environment after it has been processed to render it ready-to-eat and prior to packaging.
- Process review
- The application of methods, procedures, tests and other evaluations, in addition to monitoring, to determine whether process controls are or have been operating as intended, as part of a ready-to-eat food manufacturer's verification activities (that is, verification of key process parameters used to control L. monocytogenes).
- Ready-to-eat foods
- Defined in the section on Application of the policy. As applicable, food businesses should also be aware that the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations define 'ready-to-eat', in respect of an edible meat product (Government of Canada, 2023c). It is the responsibility of the food industry to produce safe food and to comply with all applicable Canadian legislative requirements.
- Ready-to-eat food manufacturer
- Domestic food businesses that manufacture, process, prepare or preserve a packaged ready-to-eat food as well as manufacturers of ready-to-eat foods for export. This includes food businesses that repackage ready-to-eat foods where foods are exposed to the environment prior to repackaging (see the sections on Roles and responsibilities of ready-to-eat food manufacturers and exporters).
- Section B.27.001 of Division 27, Part B (Foods) of the Food and Drug Regulations defines 'refrigeration' as follows: Refrigeration means exposure to a temperature of 4°C or less, but does not mean frozen. (réfrigéré) (Government of Canada, 2023d)
The relevant federal regulatory authority referred to in Health Canada's Listeria policy is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Listeria policy is applied in the conduct of federal food inspections.
Furthermore, as provincial/territorial food regulatory authorities may be conducting enforcement of their own food legislation, they may apply similar policy considerations in relation to the application of their laws. Hence, Health Canada's Listeria policy may serve as a resource for this purpose. In these cases, Health Canada's Listeria policy can play a complementary role, but is not intended to provide guidance on legislation that is not within Health Canada's jurisdiction or mandate.
- Root cause analysis
- Analysis aimed at identifying and correcting the source of the deviation in order to minimize the potential for the deviation to reoccur. It may result in limiting or expanding the amount of product impacted by a deviation. (CAC, 2020)
- Section 2 of the Food and Drugs Act defines 'sell' as follows: Sell includes
(a) offer for sale, expose for sale or have in possession for sale - or distribute to one or more persons, whether or not the distribution is made for consideration, and
(b) lease, offer for lease, expose for lease or have in possession for lease.
(vente) (Government of Canada, 2023a)
- The period of time during which a food maintains its microbiological safety and sensory qualities at a specific storage temperature. (CAC, 1999)
- Trend analysis
- Analysis aimed at identifying areas of concerns in relation to the introduction, repeated detection and movement of Listeria in the processing environment and food over time. The goal is to drive continuous improvement in process monitoring, root cause analysis and the application of control measures.
- Validation of control measures
- Obtaining evidence that a control measure or combination of control measures, if properly implemented, is capable of controlling the hazard to a specified outcome. (CAC, 2020)
- The application of methods, procedures, tests and other evaluations, in addition to monitoring, to determine whether a control measure is or has been operating as intended. (CAC, 2020)
- Vulnerable populations
- Vulnerable individuals include members of the following population groups: people with weakened immune systems (for example, people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), transplant recipients, people with cancer, people on dialysis), pregnant people or adults ages 60 and over. (FAO and WHO, 2004; Government of Canada, 2016; 2021b; 2021c; 2021d)
- Water activity (aw)
- Section B.27.001 of Division 27, Part B (Foods) of the Food and Drug Regulations defines 'water activity' as follows: Water activity means the ratio of the water vapour pressure of a food to the vapour pressure of pure water, at the same temperature and pressure. (activité de l'eau) (Government of Canada, 2023d)
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