Corrective Action

Whenever you fail to meet a critical limit, the resulting product may be unsafe. You should take action to identify the product and keep it from reaching consumers, as well as understand why the process failed to reach the critical limit and reduce the chance of this failure happening again.

Written procedures may dictate what to do, including steps to isolate at-risk product, evaluate product for the hazard, take action to reduce the likelihood that the problem will recur, and determine how to dispose of contaminated products.

Corrective Action Form
Facility:Page 1 of __________
Date of Record: Code or Lot #:
Date and time of problem:
Description of problem and root cause:
Actions taken to restore order to the process:
Person taking action: (name and signature):
Amount of product involved in problem:
Evaluation of product involved with problem:
Final disposition of product:
Reviewed by (name and signature): Date:

Examples of Corrective Action Steps include:

  • Stop processing 
  • Adjust process or repair equipment
  • Hold product
  • Evaluate product
  • Determine product disposition

When new unanticipated problems occur, new research or in-depth analysis may be needed.

Corrective action procedures should include how to record steps and decisions. There are many different types of corrective action forms and systems. The record should include the date of record, lot numbers of product affected, date and time of problem, description of problem and root cause, actions taken to restore process, person taking action, amount of product involved, evaluation of product, reviewer and date reviewed. 

This is the roasting example with the Corrective Action column of the Process Preventive Control Form completed.

Process Preventive Control – Corrective Action

PRODUCT:PAGE 1 of ___________
Process ControlHazard(s)Critical LimitsMonitoringCorrective ActionVerificationRecords
WhatHowHow oftenWho
sporeforming pathogens, such as Salmonella
Minimum roasting time: 25 minutes

Length of roast cycleMeasure time-in to time-out with stop watch and metal test unit run through ovenBeginning of shift and after any adjustmentRoaster operatorIf roasting is interrupted, product is held and evaluated to determine if it can be reprocessed. If a processing parameter was not met, reprocess batch using alternate validated process; identify root cause and determine actions needed to address it; conduct training as needed to prevent recurrence. Also, segregate and evaluate product, rework or discard as appropriate.
Bed depth ≤2 inchesBed depth leveling bar heightLeveling bar height is set at 2 inches high at oven inletCheck at startup and end of day
Oven temperature ≥300 degrees F (≥149 degrees C).

*Note: to achieve 5 log reduction of Salmonella
Oven air temperatureRecording thermometer at the coldest locations (i.e., inlet and outlet of oven)Continuous with visual check of recorded data at startup and once per day at each location
Process Preventive Control form example of Hazards (FSPCA, 2016, Food Safety Plan for Peanut Butter – Teaching Example, page 10)