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Taking a Look at Preventive Controls

By January 24, 2018Blog

Preventive Controls are a Necessary Component of Your Food Safety Plan

When developing your food safety plan, you must specify controls to ensure that identified hazards will be minimized or prevented. Preventive controls may include controls for processes, food allergens, and sanitation, as well as supply-chain safety, and a recall plan. The types of preventive controls you use will depend on the facility and the food:

Process Controls

Process controls are the procedures, practices, and processes to ensure the control of operations such as heat processing, acidifying, irradiating, and refrigerating foods.

Food Allergen Controls

Food allergen controls are the procedures for ensuring protection of food from allergen cross-contact (preventing the unintentional incorporation of an allergen in a food) — including during storage, handling, and use — and correctly labeling the finished food if it contains any of the eight major food allergens:




Crustacean shellfish

Tree nuts




Sanitation Controls

Sanitation controls are the procedures to ensure the facility’s sanitation practices are adequate to significantly minimize or prevent hazards such as environmental pathogens, biological hazards due to employee handling, and food allergen hazards. Sanitation controls must address:

Cleanliness of food-contact surfaces, including food-contact surfaces of utensils and equipment

Prevention of allergen cross-contact

Cross-contamination from insanitary objects

Cross-contamination from personnel to food, food packaging material, and other food-contact surfaces;

Cross-contamination from raw product to processed product

Note that sanitation controls do not include all sanitation procedures used in the facility, only those that are used to control hazards.

Supply Chain Controls

Supply-chain controls are activities taken to verify that suppliers that are controlling hazards are doing so effectively.

Recall Plan

A recall plan is necessary for any food with a hazard requiring a preventive control. It must be written and must include steps to take (and who is responsible for taking them) to

Notify your direct customers

Notify the public, if necessary

Check the effectiveness of the recall

Dispose of the food appropriately.

For more information on Preventive Controls, read the FDA Regulation: Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food