Small Scale Food Processor Association SSFPA
Food Safety Portal Glossary of Terms


Glossary of Food Safety Terminology and Acronyms

Biological Hazard: any microorganism, or toxin produced by a microorganism, that can cause foodborne illness when ingested.

CCP or Critical Control Point: a step or point in a process at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

CFIA: Canadian Food Inspection Agency – the federal body responsible for delivery of all federal inspection services related to food, animal health and plant protection.

Chemical hazard: any chemical that may be toxic to humans and may cause immediate or long-term effects when ingested or inhaled.

CIP: Clean In Place (automated cleaning)

Clean: free of visible soil, not necessarily safe, sanitized or sterile.

Contamination: the introduction or occurrence of a hazard in food or food environment.

Control: the state wherein correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control measure: any action or activity that can be used to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

COP: Clean Out of Place (Manual cleaning)

Critical limit: the maximum or minimum value to which a biological, chemical or physical parameter must be controlled to prevent, eliminate or reduce the occurrence of a food safety hazard to an acceptable level.

Cross Contamination: occurs when pathogens from a source of contamination accidentally come in contact with something food.

Deviation: failure to meet a critical limit.

Due Diligence: a legal defence that companies and persons can use to minimize the sentence to be laid by the courts in the event of an incident. It means that you have taken ALL REASONABLE CARE to prevent the incident from happening.  Due Diligence cannot be created after the fact.  Sufficient records are required to demonstrate that processes were defined and followed prior to the incident.

FATTOM: Food, Acidity, Temperature, Time, Oxygen, Moisture

FIFO - First In, First Out: a method of inventory control that involves the rotation of food products and helps to ensure timely use of perishable food products.

FSMS: Food Safety Management System. A Food Safety Management System is part of an organization's management system used to develop and manage its hazards.  A management system includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources.

GFSI: Global Food Safety Initiative

GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices – the activities and procedures used to ensure that personnel, the manufacturing environment, and other factors that are not directly related to the food, are monitored and controlled to create conditions that are favourable for the production of safe food products.

HACCP: Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point – a science-based system that prevents, reduces or eliminates hazards that are significant for food safety.

HACCP Pre-requisite Programs: Another common term for GMPs

Hazard: a biological, chemical or physical an agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.

LOTO: Lock out, tag out

MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheets

Physical hazard: any foreign material that could cause injury or illness if ingested.

Potable water: water that is safe to drink according to applicable potable water regulations.

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment

Sanitize: to treat to reduce micro-organisms to an acceptable level.

Security: implementation of control measures to prevent intentional product tampering and respond to threats or actual incidents of intentional product tampering.

SOP: Standard Operating Procedures

Spoilage: the process of decay in food products.

SSOP:   Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure

Sterilize: to make free of micro-organisms

Traceability: the ability to follow inputs and products, their location and their associated history, use and attributes backwards and forwards throughout the food chain.

WHIMIS: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System