Food Safety Snippets

The importance of creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs build food safety best practices into your farm processes, help keep food safe and have a positive impact on your business' bottom line. SOPs provide clear, step-by-step instructions for completing daily, weekly and monthly tasks such as cleaning, calibrating and equipment maintenance. Having a consistent, well documented approach reduces the risk of a food safety incident on your farm because all your staff use the same and proper techniques every time.

You can use SOPs to train new employees, reinforce proper performance of employees, provide proof to auditors that your business is meeting quality standards and demonstrate assurance to buyers that you have food safety best practices in place.

Farm Buildings and Access

Clothing, footwear and vehicles can carry pathogens between high risk and low risk areas potentially cross contaminating food, surfaces and equipment. Whenever possible plan your "clean" activities first, followed by your "dirty" activities. This could be as easy as using the tractor to move the compost before using it to move raw manure.

If you can't alter your schedule, take the extra minute to clean or change your equipment, clothing and footwear in between activities to prevent the spread of unwanted germs and residues.

Food safety practices keep agri-food businesses competitive, productive and sustainable. For more information, visit the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs website at or call us at 1-877-424-1300.

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Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300