Food Safety Systems Glossary of Terms

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There are currently 266 terms in this directory
Acceptable Level
The level of a food safety hazard not to be exceeded in the end product provided by the organization.

Accreditation
Approval by an accreditation body confirming the management systems and competence of a certification body to provide certification services against a specified Standard.

Action Criterion
A measurable or observable specification for the monitoring of an Operational Prerequisite Programme (OPRP) as per ISO 22000. An action criterion is established to determine whether an OPRP remains in control. When the action criterion is met, the OPRP is operating in control, when the action criterion is not met the OPRP is not operating in control, this is unacceptable and action should be taken as prescribed in the Hazard Control Plan (HACCP/OPRP Plan).

Adulteration
The addition of an undeclared material into a food item for economic gain.

Agent
A company that facilitates trade between an organization and their raw material or packaging suppliers, but does not at any point own or take title to the goods.

Airlock
A space which permits the passage of people and materials between one area and another with two doors in series which do not open simultaneously, and thus minimises the transfer of pests, dust, odours, or air from one area to the other.

Allergen
A known component of food which causes physiological reactions due to an immunological response (e.g. nuts and others identified in legislation relevant to the country of production or sale).

Allergen (EU)
Food causing an adverse reaction that is mediated by an immunological response.
Defined allergens are:
  • Cereals containing gluten (i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut or their hybridised strains) and products thereof
  • Crustaceans and products thereof
  • Eggs and products thereof
  • Fish and products thereof
  • Peanuts and products thereof
  • Soybeans and products thereof
  • Milk and products thereof (including lactose)
  • Nuts i.e. Almond (Amygdalus communis L.), Hazelnut (Corylus avellana), Walnut (Juglans regia), Cashew (Anacardium occidentale), Pecan nut (Carya illinoiesis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), Pistachio nut (Pistacia vera), Macadamia nut and Queensland nut (Macadamia ternifolia) and products thereof
  • Celery and products thereof
  • Lupin and products thereof
  • Molluscs and products thereof
  • Mustard and products thereof
  • Sesame seeds and products thereof
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre expressed as SO2.
Commission Directive 2007/68 EC of 27 November 2007 amending Annex III a to Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards certain food ingredients.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:310:0011:0014:EN:PDF

Allergen (US)
The eight foods identified by the law are
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
  • Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
These eight foods, and any ingredient that contains protein derived from one or more of them, are designated as “major food allergens' by FALCPA. To help Americans avoid the health risks posed by food allergens, FDA enforces the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (the Act). The Act applies to the labeling of foods regulated by the FDA which includes all foods except poultry, most meats, certain egg products, and most alcoholic beverages which are regulated by other Federal agencies.

The Act requires that food labels must clearly identify the food source names of any ingredients that are one of the major food allergens or contain any protein derived from a major food allergen.

As a result, food labels help allergic consumers identify offending foods or ingredients so they can more easily avoid them. While more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the law identifies the eight most common allergenic foods. These foods account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived.

https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/what-you-need-know-about-food-allergies

Ambient High Care
An ambient area designed, maintained and operating to a high hygienic standard where practices relating to personnel, ingredients, equipment, packaging and environment aim to minimise potential product contamination by pathogenic micro-organisms.

Animal Food
Products which are intended to be fed to non-food-producing animals.

Announced Audit
An audit where the organization/site agrees the scheduled audit day in advance with the certification body.

Approved Supplier(s)
Suppliers that have been assessed and approved by the organization based on risk assessment as capable of meeting the sites food safety requirements for materials and/or services supplied.

Assessor (for Accreditation Bodies)
Person assigned by an Accreditation Body to perform an assessment of a Certification Body.

Assured Status
Products produced in accordance with a recognised product certification scheme, the status of which needs to be preserved through the production facility (An example schemes would be GlobalGAP or “Organic Certification” such as Soil Association Certification).

ATP Bioluminescence Techniques
A rapid test for the cleanliness of surfaces based on ATP (adenosine triphosphate) – a substance used in energy transfer in cells and therefore detects the presence of biological material on a surface. The acceptable levels for a clean surface can be defined based on a short history of analysis. the test is It is based on the firefly's ATP luminescent reaction. The ATP collected from a surface reacts with Luciferin/Luciferase compounds present in the sample to create bioluminescence light. The amount of bioluminescence light is measured by the Luminometer and is expressed in Relative Light Units (RLU).

Audit
1.Systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled. An audit can be an internal audit (first-party) or an external audit (second party or third party), and it can be a combined audit (combining two or more disciplines).

2. A systematic examination to measure compliance of practices with a predetermined system, and whether the system is implemented effectively and is suitable to achieve objectives.

3.A systematic and independent examination of a site’s food safety system by a qualified food safety auditor to determine whether food safety, systems, hygiene and management activities are undertaken in accordance with that system documentation and comply with the requirements of the food safety standard.

Audit Checklist
A list of requirements available for use by an auditor when conducting an audit.

Auditor
A person employed or contracted by a licensed certification body to audit a site’s food safety management system.

Auditor Authenticity
A person possessing the appropriate competence and skills to carry out an audit.

Brand Owner
The owner of a brand logo or name who places the said logo or name on to retail products.

Branded product
Products bearing the logo, copyright or address of a company that is not a retailer.

Broker
An organization that purchases products for resale to businesses such as manufacturers but not to the ultimate consumer.

Calibration
1. Calibration is the comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of known accuracy. Primary standards of measurement are used to provide traceability to customer's instruments by calibration.

2. Set of operations that establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between values of quantities indicated by a measuring instrument or measuring system, or values represented by a material measure or a reference material and the corresponding values realized by standards.

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

Central Site
A certified site at which activities are planned to control and manage a network of certified sub-sites within a multi-site programme.

Certificate
A certificate is issued to a site by a licensed certification body following the successful completion of a food safety certification audit and/or a recertification audit.

Certificate Suspension
Revocation of certification for a given period, pending remedial action on the part of the company.

Certificate Withdrawal
Where certification is revoked. Certification may only be regained following successful completion of the full audit process.

Certification
Certification by a licensed certification body of a site’s food safety management system as complying with the relevant standard/scheme (e.g. SQF Code, BRC, etc.) as appropriate, following a certification audit or re-certification audit.

Certification Audit
An audit of a site’s whole food safety management system, including a desk audit, where the site’s food safety management system is not currently certified.

Certification Body
An entity that has entered into a license agreement with the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme authorizing it to certify a site’s food safety management system in accordance with the ISO / IEC 17065:2012 and the Standard/Scheme’s Criteria for Certification Bodies.

Certification Cycle
The period between a site’s certification/re-certification audits, typically annually.

Certification Number
A unique numerical provided by the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme’s Owner and included in the certificate, issued to a site that has successfully completed a certification audit.

Clause
A specific requirement or statement of intent that a site must comply with in order to achieve certification.

Cleaning in Place (CIP)
The process of cleaning and disinfecting food processing equipment in its assembled position without the need for dismantling and cleaning the individual parts.

Codex Alimentarius Commission
1. A body responsible for establishing internationally recognized standards, codes of practice and guidelines, of which HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is one standard

2. The internationally recognized entity whose purpose is to guide and promote the elaboration and establishment of definitions, standards and requirements for foods, and to assist in their harmonization and, in doing so, to facilitate international trade. The Commission Secretariat comprises staff from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. The Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).

Company
The entity with legal ownership of the site which is being audited against a Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme.

Competence
Demonstrable ability to apply skills, knowledge, and understanding of a task or subject to achieve intended results.

Compliance
Meeting the regulatory or customer requirements concerning product safety and legality.

Conformity
Fulfillment of a requirement.

Consultant
An expert in an area, a person who may be registered to assist in the development, validation, verification, implementation, and maintenance of a food safety management system on behalf of client site in the food industry categories appropriate to their scope of registration.

Consumer
The end-user of the finished product, commodity or service.

Contaminant
Any substance not intentionally added to food, which is present in such food as a result of the production (including operations carried out in crop husbandry, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine), manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food, or as a result of environmental contamination.

Contamination
Introduction or occurrence of an unwanted organism, taint or substance to packaging, food or the food environment. Contamination includes physical, chemical, biological and allergen contamination. Contamination can also mean a correlation of packages among themselves.

Continual Improvement
Recurring activity to enhance performance.

Contract Manufacturer (Co-Manufacturer)
Facilities that are contracted by a certified site to produce, process, pack and /or store part of or all of one or more products included in the site’s scope of certification. Contract manufacturers must follow the requirements outlined in the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme.

Contract Packer
A company that packages the final product into consumer packaging.

Contractor or Supplier
A person or organization providing services or materials.

Control
To manage the conditions of an operation to maintain compliance with established criteria, and/or the state wherein correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control (noun)
The state wherein correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control (verb)
To take all necessary actions to ensure and maintain compliance with criteria established in the HACCP plan.

Control Measure
1. Any action and activity that can be used to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

2. Action or activity that is essential to prevent a significant food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

Controlled document
A document that is identifiable and for which revisions and removal from use can be tracked. The document is issued to identified individuals and their receipt of the document is recorded.

Cook
A thermal process designed to heat a food item to a minimum of 70°C for 2 minutes or equivalent. Alternative cooking processes may be accepted if they meet recognized national guidelines and are validated by scientific data.

Corporate
An entity that does not manufacture or handle products but oversees and contributes to the food safety quality management system at a certified site.

Correction
1. Action to eliminate a detected non-conformity or deviation.

2. Action to eliminate a detected nonconformity. A correction includes the handling of potentially unsafe products and can, therefore, be made in conjunction with corrective action. A correction may be, for example, reprocessing, further processing and/or elimination of the adverse consequences of the non-conformity (such as disposal for other use or specific labeling).

Corrective Action
1. Any action to be taken when the results of monitoring at the CCP indicate a loss of control.

2. Action to eliminate the cause of nonconformity and to prevent a recurrence. Corrective action includes cause analysis.

3. Action to eliminate the cause of a detected nonconformity or other undesirable situation. Corrective action includes:
  • Determining & documenting any immediate action required and taken.
  • Determining the cause of the problem.
  • Evaluating action needed on the identified cause.
  • Determining if the problem exists elsewhere in the system and implement actions needed.
  • Documenting the actions taken and the results of the action taken.
  • Reviewing, verifying and documenting the effectiveness of action taken with objective evidence.
4. Action to eliminate the cause of a detected nonconformity, deviation or other undesirable situation.

CP – Control Point
Identified by the hazard analysis as essential in order to control the likelihood of introducing or proliferation of food safety hazards in the product and/or the environment.

Crisis Management
The process by which a site manages an event (e.g. flood, fire) that adversely affects the site’s ability to provide continuity of supply of safe food, and requires the implementation of a crisis management plan.

Critical Control Point (CCP)
A step in the process at which control measure(s) is(are) applied to prevent or reduce a significant food safety hazard to an acceptable level, and defined critical limit(s) and measurement enable the application of corrections.

Critical Limit
A measurable value which separates acceptability from unacceptability. Critical limits are established to determine whether a CCP remains in control. If a critical limit is exceeded or not met, the products affected are to be handled as potentially unsafe products.

Cross-docking
Material is unloaded at distribution premises, and handled, but not formally put away into storage.

Customer
1. A business or person to whom a service or product has been provided.

2. A buyer or person that purchases goods or services from a certified site.

3. A customer is a business company or person to whom products are sold.

Customer focus
A structured approach to determining and addressing the needs of an organization to which the company supplies products and which may be measured by the use of performance indicators.

Desk Audit
A review of a site’s documentation by a licensed certification body, forming part of and being the initial stage of the certification audit to ensure the food safety management system documentation substantially meets the requirements of the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme.

Deviation
1. Failure to meet a critical limit.

2. Non-compliance with a requirement but there is no impact on food safety related to products and processes.

Dispatch / Despatch
The point at which the product leaves the factory site or is no longer the responsibility of the company.

Distribution
The transportation of goods within any container (goods on the move) by road, rail, air or ship.

Documented Information
Information required to be controlled and maintained by an organization and the medium on which it is contained. Documented information can be in any format and media, and from any source. Documented information can refer to the management system, information created in order for the organization to operate (documentation) or evidence of results achieved (records).

Dose Response Assessment
The determination of the relationship between the magnitude of exposure (dose) to a chemical, biological or physical agent and the severity and/or frequency of associated adverse health effects (response).

Effectiveness
The extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results achieved.

Enclosed product area
An area of the factory where all products are fully enclosed and therefore not vulnerable to environmental contamination.

End Consumer
The ultimate consumer of a foodstuff, who will not use the food as part of any food business operation or activity.

End Product
A product that will undergo no further processing or transformation by the organization. A product that undergoes further processing or transformation by another organization is an end product in the context of the first organization and a raw material or an ingredient in the context of the second organization.

Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP)
A program that includes pathogen or indicator swabbing as appropriate to detect risk in the sanitary conditions in the processing environment. Verification of the effectiveness of the pathogen controls that a facility has in place for high-risk foods.

Exempt
A term applied to elements of the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme that the site does not wish to be included in the certification audit, and has submitted a written request to the certification body to exclude, prior to commencement of any scheduled audit activity.
Normally, mandatory clauses cannot be exempted. The certification body will confirm the reasons for exemption as part of the site audit. The term also applies to products, processes or areas of the site that the site wishes to exclude from the audit.

Exposure Assessment
The qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation of the likely intake of biological, chemical, and physical agents via food as well as exposures from other sources if relevant.

Facility
The site’s premises at its street address. The production, manufacturing, or storage area where a product is produced, processed, packaged, and/or stored, and includes the processes, equipment, environment, materials, and personnel involved. The facility must be managed and supervised under the same operational management. The facility is the site audited during a site audit.

Factory Inspection (versus Internal Audits)
Factory inspections are carried out by any appropriate person to check conformity with good practices including hygiene, pest control, product control, fabrication and prevention of foreign material hazards.

Feed
Any single or multiple materials, whether processed, semi-processed, or raw, which is intended to be fed directly to food-producing animals.

Feed Safety
The principles and practices applied to feed production and manufacturing to ensure that feed does not cause harm to animals or humans.

Flow diagram
A systematic representation of the sequence of steps or operations and interactions of the steps in the process of production or manufacture of a particular food item.

Food
1. Any substance, usually of animal or plant origin, intentionally consumed by humans, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed. May include water, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, materials included in a processed food product and any other substance identified by regulation (legislation) as a food.

2. Substance (ingredient), usually of animal or plant origin, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended for consumption, and includes drink, chewing gum and any substance which has been used in the manufacture, preparation or treatment of “food” but does not include cosmetics or tobacco or substances (ingredients) used only as drugs.
  • food is intended for consumption by humans and animals, and includes feed and animal food;
  • feed is intended to be fed to food-producing animals;
  • animal food is intended to be fed to non-food-producing animals, such as pets.

Food Additive
A substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of the food, the intentional addition of which to food is for a technological (including organoleptic) purpose to enhance the characteristics of such foods. Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste, appearance, or other qualities. The term does not include substances added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional qualities.

Food Authenticity
Food authenticity is ensuring that food or raw materials purchased and offered for sale are of the nature, quality, and substance expected.

Food Chain
The sequence of the stages in food production, processing, distribution, storage and handling of food and its ingredients, from primary production to consumption.

Food Defence
Procedures adopted to assure the safety of materials and products from malicious contamination or theft.

Food Defense
Activities associated with protecting the nation’s food supply from deliberate or intentional acts of contamination or tampering. As defined by the US Food and Drug Administration: Food defense is the protection of food products from contamination or adulteration intended to cause public health harm or economic disruption.

Food Fraud
Fraudulent and intentional substitution, dilution or addition to a product or raw material, or misrepresentation of the product or material, for the purpose of financial gain, by increasing the apparent value of the product or reducing the cost of its production.

Food Handler
Anyone who handles or prepares food.

Food Hygiene
Conditions and measures necessary for the production, processing, storage, and distribution of food designed to ensure a safe, sound, wholesome product fit for human consumption.

Food Packaging
The finished article used to package food.

Food Quality Plan
Usually based on the CODEX HACCP method but for quality instead of food safety, food quality plans include process controls at quality points in production to monitor product quality, identify deviations from control parameters and define corrections necessary to keep the process under control.

Food Raw Materials
Food ingredients, additives, and processing aids used in the manufacture of a product.

Food Safety
Assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use.

Food Safety Hazard
A biological, chemical, physical or radiological agent in food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.

Food Safety Objective (FSO)
The maximum frequency and/or concentration of a hazard in a food at the time of consumption that provides or contributes to the appropriate level of protection (ALOP).

Food Safety Plan
A plan prepared based on the CODEX HACCP method, including process controls at control points in production to monitor product safety, identify deviations from control parameters and define corrections necessary to keep the process under control.

Food Sector Category (FSC)
A specific sector of the food or feed industry, or the provision of related food safety services.

Food Security
Procedures adopted to assure the continued availability of raw materials and products.

Formula
An exhaustive description of the quantity and quality of raw materials to be used to process the products, as required in customer specifications.

Fundamental Requirement
A requirement of a Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme that must be established, maintained and monitored by the company as failure to meet the requirement could have serious repercussions on the legality or safety of the product supplied.

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
An organism whose genetic material has been altered so that its DNA contains genes not normally found there.

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
Managed by the Consumer Goods Forum, a project to harmonize and benchmark international food safety standards ( www.mygfsi.com ).

GMO
An organism, with the exception of human beings, in which the genetic material has been modified otherwise than natural multiplication or natural recombination.

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
Practices on farms that define best practices for production, incorporating integrated crop management, integrated pest management, and integrated agricultural hygienic practices.

Good Aquaculture Practices (GAPs)
Practices on aquaculture farms and wild catch fisheries that define best practices for production, incorporating integrated water quality, veterinary and growth practices, and handling and hygienic practices.

Good Hygiene Practice
1. Conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the food chain.

2. Usually related to a combination of operation, process, personnel and/or service control procedures intended to ensure that products and/or services consistently achieve appropriate levels of hygiene.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
The combination of management and manufacturing practices, using best practice principles, designed to ensure food products are consistently produced to meet relevant legislative and customer specifications.

HACCP
1. A system which identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.

2. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and refers to the HACCP guidelines developed and managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s CODEX Alimentarius Commission. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System and Guidelines for its Application – Annex to CAC/RCP 1 – 1969, Rev. 4-2003), – “A system, which identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant for food safety”.

HACCP Method
The implementation of prerequisite food hygiene programmes and the application of HACCP principles in the logical sequence of the twelve steps as described in the current edition of the CODEX Alimentarius Commission Guidelines: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System and Guidelines for its Application.

HACCP Plan
A document prepared in accordance with the CODEX principles of HACCP to ensure control of hazards that are significant for food safety in the segment of the food chain under consideration.

HACCP Training
Training that meets the guidelines outlined in the Food and Agriculture Organization’s CODEX Alimentarius Commission. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System and Guidelines for its Application – Annex to CAC/RCP 1 – 1969, Rev. 4- 2003), – “A system, which identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.”

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

Hazard Analysis
The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards and conditions leading to their presence to decide which are significant for food safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
A system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.

Hazard Characterization
The qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation of the nature of the adverse health effects associated with biological, chemical and physical agents that may be present in food.

Hazard Identification
The identification of biological, chemical, and physical agents capable of causing adverse health effects and which may be present in a particular food or group of foods.

Hazardous Chemicals and Toxic Substances
Solids, liquids or gasses that are radioactive, flammable, explosive, corrosive, oxidizing, asphyxiating, or pathogenic including but not restricted to detergents, sanitizers, pest control chemicals, lubricants, paints, processing aids, biochemical additives, which if used or handled incorrectly or in increased dosage may cause harm to the handler and/or consumer.

High Risk Food
1. Food or food products with known attributes for microbiological growth, physical or chemical contamination, or which due to a process type may allow for the survival of pathogenic microbial flora or other contamination which, if not controlled, may contribute to the illness of the consumer.

2. A food that is deemed high risk by a customer, declared high risk by the relevant food regulation or has caused a major foodborne illness outbreak.

High Risk Food Process(es)
A process that requires a high standard of hygiene, where good hygienic practices relating to personnel, ingredients, equipment, packaging, and environment to prevent food contamination from pathogens.

High-Care Area
An area designed to a high hygiene standard where good hygienic practices relating to personnel, ingredients, equipment, packaging, and environment are in place to prevent product contamination by pathogenic micro-organisms.

High-Care Product
A product that requires chilled or frozen storage, is vulnerable to the growth of pathogens, has received a process to reduce the microbiological contamination to safe levels and is ready to eat or heat.

High-Risk Area
A physically segregated area, designed to a high standard of hygiene, where good hygienic practices relating to personnel, ingredients, equipment, packaging, and environment are in place to prevent product contamination by pathogenic micro-organisms.

High-Risk Product
A chilled ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat product or food where there is a high risk of growth of pathogenic micro-organisms.

Highly Perishable Products
Products which, from the microbiological point of view, are likely after a short period to constitute an immediate danger to human health.

Identity Preserved
A product that has a defined origin or purity characteristic which needs to be retained throughout the food chain (e.g. through traceability and protection from contamination) in order to assure its status.

Importer
A company facilitating the movement of products across an international border.

Incident
An event that has occurred that may result in the production or supply of unsafe, illegal or non- conforming products.

Industry Code of Practice
Industry norms, rules or protocols established by industry groups that provide practical, industry-specific good practice guidelines on meeting regulations while meeting industry needs.

Initial Audit
An audit at a company/site which is not in possession of a valid certificate.

Inspection Area
A designated station normally close to the process for the purpose of monitoring food safety and/or quality attributes and parameters.

Internal Audit
The general process of audit, for all the activities of the company. Conducted by or on behalf of the company for internal purposes. Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

Key Staff
Those staff whose activities have the potential to affect product safety, legality and/or quality.

Legality
In compliance with the national federal, state and local regulations applicable in the place of production and in the countries where the product(s) is/are intended to be sold.

Licensed Certification Body (LCB)
An entity that has entered into a license agreement with the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme authorizing it to manage the auditing and certification of the site’s food safety management system.

Lot
A defined quantity of a product produced and/or processed and/or packaged essentially under the same conditions may be described by other terms, e.g. batch.

Low Risk Food
Food containing high acid that is not known to support the growth of pathogens; food that is subject to a full cook prior to consumption.

Low-Risk Area
An area where the processing or handling of foods presents the minimum risk of product contamination or growth of micro-organisms, or where the subsequent processing or preparation of the product will ensure product.

Management System
A set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies and objectives and processes to achieve those objectives. The system elements include the organization's structure, roles, and responsibilities, planning and operation.

Mandatory Elements
A mandatory requirement of a Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme that must be established by an organization in order to receive certification.

Manufacturer
A company that produces a product from raw materials and/or components and packs the product into retail units or supplies products in bulk.

Maximum Limit for Pesticide Residues (MRL)
The maximum concentration of a pesticide residue (expressed as mg/kg), recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be legally permitted in or on food commodities and animal feeds. MRLs are based on GAP data and foods derived from commodities that comply with the respective MRLs are intended to be toxicologically acceptable.

Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)
Generally, set by local regulation or CODEX Alimentarius Commission, and applies to maximum allowable trace levels of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in agricultural produce, particularly produce entering the food chain.

May
Indicates a requirement or text which provides guidance but is not mandatory for compliance with the Food Safety Management Standard/Scheme.

Measurement
The process to determine a value.

Monitoring
1. The act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a CCP is under control.

2. Determining the status of a system, a process or an activity. To determine the status, there may be a need to check, supervise or critically observe.

In the context of food safety, monitoring is conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a process is operating as intended, monitoring is applied during an activity and provides information for action within a specified time frame.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
The material safety data sheet provides relevant information to users to enable them to take the necessary food safety measures and/or the protection of health, safety, and the environment at the place of work.

Multi-site Certification
Multi-site certification involves the designation and certification of a central site (into which a network of certified sub-sites all feed into. The central site and all sub-sites are normally all located in one country and operate under the same food safety legislation.

Multi-site Programme
A multi-site programme is comprised of a central certified site under which activities are planned to manage and control the food safety management systems of a network of subsites under a legal or contractual link.

Multi-site Sampling Program
As defined by the Global Food Safety Initiative Requirements Document, a program of sub-site audits defined by the certification program owner but will be determined by the certification body based upon specified criteria.

N/A
Stands for “not applicable” and maybe reported during an audit by the auditor when an element does not apply at the time.

Non-Conformity
1. Non-fulfillment of a requirement.

2. The non-fulfillment of a specified product safety, legal or quality requirement or a specified system requirement

Non-Conformity – Certification Audit Categories
A minor non-conformity is an omission or deficiency in the site’s food safety management system that produces unsatisfactory conditions that if not addressed may lead to a risk to food safety.

A major non-conformity is an omission or deficiency in the site’s food safety management system producing unsatisfactory conditions that carry a food safety and/or quality risk.

A critical non-conformity is a breakdown in the site’s food safety management system that is judged likely to cause a significant public health risk and/or where the product is contaminated.

Objective
Result to be achieved, in the context of FSMS, objectives are set by the organization, consistent with the food safety policy, to achieve specific results.

On-site Laboratories
A designated and enclosed area on a site in which chemical, microbiological and other product testing is conducted and if not controlled could lead to contamination and requires the use of good laboratory practices.

Open Product Area
An area in which the product is open to the environment such as not fully enclosed in packaging or not enclosed within filling equipment, tanks or pipes.

Operational Prerequisite Programme (OPRP)
A control measure or combination of control measures applied to prevent or reduce a significant food safety hazard to an acceptable level, and where action criterion and measurement or observation enable effective control of the process and/or product.

Organization
Group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities, and relationships to achieve its objectives.

Outsource - Verb
An arrangement where an external organization performs part of an organization’s function or process (including services).

Pasteurization
A process in which some foods are treated with mild heat, usually to less than 100 °C, to eliminate pathogens and extend shelf life. Pasteurization is applied to a product with the objective of minimizing possible health hazards arising from pathogenic microorganisms associated with the product which is consistent with minimal chemical, physical and organoleptic changes in the product. Examples of such foods include milk, cream, ice cream, eggs, fruit juices, fermented products, and soups.

Performance
A measurable result.

Performance Criterion (PC)
The effect in frequency and/or concentration of a hazard in food that must be achieved by the application of one or more control measures to provide or contribute to a PO or an FSO.

Performance Indicators
Summaries of quantified data that provide information on the level of compliance against agreed targets such as customer complaint levels, degree of product conformity or degree of audit compliance.

Pesticide
Any substance intended for preventing, destroying, attracting, repelling, or controlling any pest including unwanted species of plants or animals during the production, storage, transport, distribution and processing of food, agricultural commodities, or animal feeds or which may be administered to animals for the control of ectoparasites. The term normally excludes fertilizers, plant and animal nutrients, food additives, and animal drugs.

Pesticide Residue
Any specified substance in food, agricultural commodities, or animal feed resulting from the use of a pesticide. The term includes any derivatives of a pesticide, such as conversion products, metabolites, reaction products, and impurities considered to be of toxicological significance.

Pests
Vermin, including birds, rodents, insects, or other unwanted species that can carry disease and pose a risk to packaging, feed or food.

Pet Food
Any substance intended for consumption by domestic animals and specialty pets. It includes dry and moist pet foods and treats, semi-raw, canned, chilled, or frozen products.

Plan
As defined by ISO 9001, a document(s) used to establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with customer requirements and the organization's policies.

Policy
Intentions and direction of an organization as formally expressed by its senior management.

Positive Release
Ensuring a product or material is of an acceptable standard prior to release for use.

Potable Water
Water that is safe to drink, free from pollutants and harmful organisms and conforming to legal requirements.

Pre-Packaged Products
Products in their final packaging that is designed for sale to the consumer.

Prepared Primary Product
A food product which has undergone a washing, trimming or grading process and is pre-packed.

Prerequisite
The basic environmental and operational conditions in a food business that are necessary for the production of safe food. These control generic hazards covering good manufacturing practice and good hygienic practice and are considered within the HACCP study.

Prerequisite Programme (PRP)
Basic conditions and activities that are necessary within the organization and throughout the food chain to maintain food safety. The PRPs needed depend on the segment of the food chain in which the organization operates and the type of organization. Examples of equivalent terms are good agricultural practice (GAP), good veterinary practice (GVP), good manufacturing practice (GMP), good hygiene practice (GHP), good production practice (GPP), good distribution practice (GDP) and good trading practice (GTP).

Preventive Action
Action to eliminate the fundamental, underlying cause (root cause) of a detected non-conformity and prevent a recurrence.

Primary Packaging
That packaging which constitutes the unit of sale, used and disposed of by the consumer (for example bottle, closure, and label).

Primary Producer or Producer
A sole entity involved in the pre-farm gate production, field packing, storage and supply of food produced and/or harvested under their exclusive control.

Procedure
Specified way to carry out an activity or process which is implemented and documented in the form of detailed instructions or process description or diagram such as a flow chart.

Process
Set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs to outputs.

Processed Food
A food product which has undergone any of the following processes: aseptic filling, baking, battering, blending, bottling, breading, brewing, canning, coating, cooking, curing, cutting, dicing, distillation, drying, extrusion, fermentation, freeze-drying, freezing, frying, hot filling, irradiation, microfiltration, microwaving, milling, mixing, being packed in modified atmosphere, being packed in vacuum packing, packing, pasteurisation, pickling, roasting, slicing, smoking, steaming or sterilisation.

Processing
The processing of food through one or more steps in which the nature of the food is changed. Processing includes but is not limited to repacking, over bagging and re-labeling of food, slaughtering, dismembering, sorting, grading, cleaning, treating, drying, salting, smoking, cooking, canning, purifying and the pasteurization of food.

Processing Aid
Any substance or material, not including apparatus or utensils, and not consumed as a food ingredient by itself, intentionally used in the processing of raw materials, foods or its ingredients, to fulfil a certain technological purpose during treatment or processing and which may result in the non-intentional but unavoidable presence of residues or derivatives in the final product.

Product
Output that is a result of a process. A product can be a service.

Product Development
The creation of products with new or different characteristics that offer new or additional benefits to the customer. Product development may involve modification of an existing product or its presentation, or formulation of an entirely new product.

Product Recall
Any measure aimed at achieving the return of a dangerous or unfit product that has already been supplied or made available to consumers by the producer or distributor.

Product Requirements
Product requirements includes: product safety, product quality, product legality, process and specification.

Product Withdrawal
Any measure aimed at preventing the distribution, display, and offer of a dangerous or unfit product to the customer but not from final consumers.

Programme
Plans used to establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with customer requirements and the organization's policies such as an environmental monitoring programme.

Protective Clothing
Clothing designed to protect the product from potential contamination by the wearer.

Provenance
The origin or the source of food or raw materials.

Purity
The absence of contaminants.

Quality
A measure of exceeding customer or corporate expectations and a state of being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variation.

Quantity Check (Mass Balance)
A reconciliation of the amount of incoming raw material, including packaging, against the amount used in the resulting finished products, also taking into account waste and rework.

Quantity Control
Check on amount of product in the pack. It can be related to weight, volume, number of pieces, size, etc.

Quarantine
The status given to any material or product set aside and isolated while awaiting confirmation of its suitability for its intended use or sale.

Raw Material
Any base material or semi-finished material including the packaging used by the organization for the manufacture of a product.

Re-certification
Re-certification by a certification body of a site’s food safety management system as a result of a re-certification audit.

Re-certification Audit
An audit of the site’s SQF food safety or quality System within thirty (30) calendar days of the anniversary of certification.

Ready-To-Cook Food
Food designed by the manufacturer as requiring cooking or other processing effective to eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level micro-organisms of concern.

Ready-To-Eat Food
Food intended by the manufacturer for direct human consumption without the need for a full cook.

Ready-To-Heat Food
Food designed by the manufacturer as suitable for direct human consumption without the need for cooking, heating of the product is intended to make the product more palatable.

Recognised Laboratory Accreditation
Laboratory accreditation schemes that have gained national and international acceptance, awarded by a competent body and widely recognized, for example, ISO/IEC 17025:2017 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

Recoup
A product that is intact and requires no further processing or handling but is repackaged for distribution.

Reference Sample
Agreed products or components for referral by the manufacturer when producing the product.

Requirement
Need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory. A specified requirement is one that is stated, for example in documented information.

Residues of Veterinary Drugs
Includes the parent compounds and/or their metabolites in any edible portion of the animal product, and include residues of associated impurities of the veterinary drug concerned.

Retail Brand
A trademark, logo, copyright or address of a retailer.

Retailer
A business selling products to the public by retail.

Retailer-Branded Products
Products bearing a retailer’s logo, copyright, address or ingredients used to manufacture within a retailer’s premises, the products are generally regarded as the responsibility of the retailer legally.

Retained Production Sample
Representative products or components taken from a production run and held for future reference.

Reviewer
Person of the certification body in charge of assessing the audits reports before a certification decision is made.

Rework
Food, materials, and ingredients, including work in progress that has left the normal product flow and requires action to be taken on it before it is acceptable for release and is suitable for reuse within the process.

Risk
1. Effect of uncertainty.
An effect is a deviation from the expected – positive or negative.
Uncertainty is the state, even partial, of deficiency of information related to, understanding or knowledge of, an event, its consequence, or likelihood.
Food safety risk is a function of the probability of an adverse health effect and the severity of that effect, consequential to (a) hazard(s) in food, as specified in the Codex Procedural Manual

2. The likelihood of occurrence of harm from a hazard

Risk Analysis
A process consisting of three components: risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication.

Risk Assessment
1. The identification, evaluation, and estimation of the levels of risk involved in a process to determine an appropriate control process 2. A scientifically based process consisting of the following steps: (i) hazard identification, (ii) hazard characterization, (iii) exposure assessment, and (iv) risk characterization.

Risk Characterization
The qualitative and/or quantitative estimation, including attendant uncertainties, of the probability of occurrence and severity of known or potential adverse health effects in a given population based on hazard identification, hazard characterization, and exposure assessment.

Risk Estimate
The qualitative and/or quantitative estimation of risk resulting from risk characterization.

Risk Management
The process, distinct from risk assessment, of weighing policy alternatives, in consultation with all interested parties, considering risk assessment and other factors relevant for the health protection of consumers and for the promotion of fair trade practices, and, if needed, selecting appropriate prevention and control options.

Risk Profile
The description of the food safety problem and its context.

Root Cause
The underlying cause of a problem, which, if adequately addressed, will prevent a recurrence of that problem.

Sampling Plan
A documented plan defining the number of samples to be selected and the acceptance or rejection criteria.

Satellite Depot
A warehouse/distribution site receiving products only from another site within the same company.

Schedule
A tabulated statement giving details of actions and/or timings.

Scope of Certification
The food sector categories and those products to be covered by the certificate.

Season or Seasonal
A period in which the major activity is conducted over, typically not more than five consecutive months in a calendar year; for example, harvesting and packing during the apple season.

Seasonal Products
Products that are processed at a specific time in the year, or processes which are used at a specific time in the year, for getting new/different products than those processed all year long.

Secondary Packaging
Packaging that is used to collate and transport sales units to the retail environment.

Senior Management
Those with strategic/high-level operational responsibility for the company and the capability to authorize the financial or human resources necessary for the implementation of the Standard.

Senior Site Management
Individuals at the highest level on-site responsible for the business operation and implementation and improvement of the food safety and quality management system.

Shall
A requirement to comply with.

Should
Compliance with the requirement is expected.

Significant Food Safety Hazard
Food safety hazard, identified through the hazard assessment, which needs to be controlled by control measures.

Site
Any food business involved in the production, manufacture, processing, transport, storage, distribution or sale of food, beverages, packaging, animal feed, or pet food, or providing support services to the food sector and run by a person, company, cooperative, partnership, joint venture, business or other organization who has, or agrees to have, a licensed certification body carry out audits and certification of its food safety management system.

Site Audit
An audit that reviews the site’s products and processes on-site to determine the effective implementation of the site’s documented food safety management system (includes certification audits).

Specification
An explicit or detailed description of a material, product or service.

Specifier
A company or person requesting the product or service.

SQF Practitioner
An individual designated by a site to oversee the development, implementation, review, and maintenance of that site’s own SQF System.

Step
A point, procedure, operation or stage in the food chain, including raw materials, from primary production to final consumption.

Sterilisation
The process applied to a product in final packaging (e.g. milk, fermented products, soups, beverages, etc.) with the objective of producing commercially sterile products, with a long shelf life under ambient temperature. The main concern is the inactivation of the most heat resistant pathogenic spore, namely Clostridium botulinum.

Supplier
The entity that provides a product or service to the site.

Surveillance Audit
A routine audit where that system has previously been certified or recertified and whose certification is current.

Suspension
Where certification is revoked for a given period, pending remedial action on the part of the company.

System
Set of interrelated or interacting elements. A System is a planned, sustainable structured course of action. Depending on the complexity, documentation is recommended. System includes documentation, procedure description, control/monitoring, corrective action, site plan.

Technical Expert
An individual who is able to demonstrate a high degree of expertise and technical competence in the food sector category, with sound knowledge and understanding of the HACCP method.

Threat
An identified risk that has the potential, if not controlled, to affect the product.

Top Management
Person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level.
Top management has the power to delegate authority and provide resources within the organization.

Traceability
Ability to trace and follow raw materials (including packaging), components and products, through all stages of receipt, production, processing, and distribution to the customer both forwards and backward.

Traceability/Product Tracing
The ability to follow the movement of a food through specified stage(s) of production, processing, and distribution.

Traded Goods
Goods not manufactured or processed on-site but bought in and sold on.

Trademarks
A recognizable label, logo, or mark which identifies a raw material or finished product with a particular producer, manufacturer, or retailer.

Trend
An identified pattern of results.

Unannounced Audit
An audit undertaken on a date unknown to the company in advance.

Update
Immediate and/or planned activity to ensure the application of the most recent information.

Utilities
Commodities or services, such as electricity or water.

Validation
Obtaining evidence that a control measure (or combination of control measures) will be capable of effectively controlling the significant food safety hazard. Validation is performed at the time a control measure combination is designed, or whenever changes are made to the implemented control measures.

Vehicle
Any device used for the conveyance of product that is capable of being moved upon highways, waterways or airways.

Verification
1. The application of methods, procedures, tests and other evaluations, in addition to monitoring, to determine compliance with the HACCP plan.

2. Confirmation through the provision of objective evidence that specified requirements have been fulfilled.

Verification Schedule
A schedule outlining the frequency and responsibility for carrying out the methods, procedures or tests additional to those used in monitoring, to determine that the HACCP study was completed correctly, that the food safety management system is compliant with the food safety plan and that it continues to be effective.

Veterinary Drug
Any substance applied or administered to any food-producing animal, such as meat or milk-producing animals, poultry, fish or bees, whether used for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic purposes or for modification of physiological functions or behavior.

Vision and Mission Statement
A statement issued by senior site management outlining the site's quality goals and objectives. It may be combined with, or separate from the site's food safety policy.

Water Treatment
The microbiological, chemical, and/or physical treatment of water for use in processing or cleaning, to ensure its potability and suitability for use.

Work in Progress / Work in Process
Partially manufactured products, intermediate products or materials waiting for the completion of the manufacturing process.

Workwear
Authorized clothing designed to protect the product from potential contamination by the wearer.

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