The application of control measures in the food chain, from primary production, through processing, to consumption, is used to control potential food safety hazards. Validation of control measures demonstrates that they are capable of achieving the intended level of hazard control.
1. What is Validation?
Validation is the process of obtaining evidence that a control measure or combination of control measures, if properly implemented, is capable of controlling the hazard to a specified outcome. For example, sanitizer in product wash water is effective in preventing cross contamination.
2. Why is Validation Necessary?
It confirms that the measures being used will control the hazards related to the food product.
3. How is Validation Performed?
Validation focuses on the collection and evaluation of scientific, technical and observational information to determine whether control measures are capable of achieving their specified outcomes. Examples include:
4. Validation vs. Monitoring vs. Verification
Validation is different from monitoring and verification. The table below provides an explanation and comparison of validation, monitoring and verification.
5. Where does Validation Occur?
Validation of control measures occurs at any stage of the food chain. All control measures within the preventive food safety control system, including good manufacturing practices and/or pre-requisite programs, should be validated. Examples include the validation of:
6. When is Validation Performed?
Validation is performed at the time a control measure or a food safety control system is designed, or when changes indicate the need for re-validation. Validation of control measures is, whenever possible, performed before their full implementation. All control measures should be validated periodically (for example, once a year).
7. Who Performs Validation Studies?
Producers and processors are responsible for the validation of control measures. A validation team with appropriate expertise and knowledge can be used, but be sure to include representatives who are knowledgeable of the relevant products, manufacturing, storage, distribution and handling processes. This could include people from sanitation, quality assurance, maintenance and engineering.
Governments (e.g. Health Canada) may provide guidance to industry on how to conduct validation studies and how validated control measures may be implemented.
8. Validation - Where to Begin?
You can begin your validation studies by:
9. Additional Information
10. Questions? Contact Us
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