Corrective & Preventative Action


Corrective actions are those actions taken to eliminate non-conformances, deviations or other undesirable situations that have already occurred. Preventative actions are those actions taken to prevent potential non-conformances, deviations or other undesirable situations.

Applicable Code Requirements

  • 2.5.3

Review Glossary Terms

  • Correction
  • Corrective Action
  • Root Cause Analysis

Implementation & Audit Guidance

What does it mean?

The site must have a document describing the responsibility for investigating and identifying the causes of problems, resulting from internal and external audits, customer complaints, CCP limit violations, recalls or withdrawals, or any other food safety deviation resulting in an undesirable event. The methods used to correct and control the situation, including disposition of affected product back to the last good check, and what action is to be taken to prevent the recurrence of the problem must be included.

There are typically three types of actions that should be considered in your problem-solving process:

  1. Corrections are considered short term fixes, i.e., a quick action taken to remediate a specific problem or adjustments made to regain immediate control.
  2. Corrective actions are long term fixes designed to eliminate the root cause of the problem and to minimize the risk that the situation will occur again.
  3. Preventative actions are designed to prevent the same deviation or event from occurring on similar product(s) or process(es).

Corrections and corrective actions are reactive responses to a concern that has already happened. Preventative actions are proactive responses used to eliminate potential food safety events. Preventative actions may be utilized outside of the corrective action process and used as a continuous improvement tool to address potential problems.

Corrections typically are completed when the deviation is identified. Corrective and preventative actions are developed from the results of a root cause analysis.

Corrective and preventative action records are necessary in order to meet multiple requirements in the code. They also must be included as a part of the management review process.

Why is it in the Code & why is it important?

This is a mandatory clause.

When problems or issues that involve food safety arise, the supplier is required to take corrective and/or preventative action to deal with any affected product(s) and to fix the process(es) to protect consumer health and safety, and confidence.

RIO Road to Audits (Records, Interviews, and Observations)


The following are examples of records and/or documents to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • Corrective Action Procedure
  • Root Cause Analysis Form
  • Corrective Action Reports
  • Internal Audit Results
  • Product Disposition Logs
  • HACCP Plans
  • Management Review Minutes
  • Recall/Withdrawal Records
  • Maintenance Work Orders
  • Continuous Improvement Projects


The following are examples of people to interview to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • SQF practitioner
  • CCP operators
  • Internal auditors
  • Maintenance
  • Sanitation
  • Pest Control
  • Senior Site Management

The following are examples of questions to ask to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • What situations would result in use of the corrective action procedure?
  • How are corrective actions implemented then verified?
  • Define the role and responsibility for corrective actions?
  • How are corrective actions communicated to affected personnel?


The following are examples of observations to assist in the implementation and review of this topic:

  • Processes that had corrective or preventative actions implemented

Additional References

  • AQS publication: Root Cause Analysis Simplified Tools and Techniques – Bjorn Anderson and Tom Fagerhaug 2nd Edition.

Download the .pdf

Updated Date: 2021/04/01

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