Risk Control Plan FAQs

What is a Risk Control Plan? A risk control plan is written cooperatively by the Person in Charge (PIC) of a food establishment and the health inspector. It describes a management system to control a foodborne illness risk factor in the facility.

The Centers for Disease Control has identified the most prevalent contributing factors of foodborne illness. These risk factors include poor personal hygiene, food from unsafe sources, inadequate cooking, improper holding temperatures and contamination. Visit the Reducing Foodborne Illness Risk Factors Resource Guide webpage for more information.

A risk control plan is an intervention to chronic food safety problems in a food establishment, the benefits of which include:

  • The operator has an active role in developing the plan and can consider all of the options and decide what is best for the facility’s operation.
  • Input from the health inspector helps to establish a team approach to problem solving.
  • An established plan creates a method for long-term behavioral change.
  • The plan restores active managerial control over procedures that have a chance for causing foodborne illness.
When should a Risk Control Plan be developed?2018-09-04T09:46:26-07:00

During a health inspection, if a violation is observed, it is documented on the report with a corrective action. If an isolated occurrence, the violation is corrected by the operator and not repeated.

A risk control plan is implemented when a hazard is uncontrolled and has the potential for being continuous or chronic. The plan should provide for clear, measurable success.

What types of hazards are addressed in risk control plans?2018-09-04T09:47:06-07:00

Risk control plans typically address uncontrolled, food safety hazards that are procedural or behavioral. Examples include time/temperature compliance, a food handling process or procedure, employee hygiene practices, holding equipment monitoring, and facility/equipment cleaning and maintenance.

Risk control plans are not used to address one-time actions such as installing a vacuum breaker on a hose bib or repairing damage to a wall.

What’s included in a risk control plan?2018-09-04T09:48:19-07:00

The plan identifies a specific risk factor and provides for simple control measures, which can be integrated daily into the facility’s routine operation. It clearly identifies:

  • the problem (risk factor),
  • how it will be corrected/controlled (procedure), and
  • how success is measured (critical limit).

It also provides for accountability by indicating the how/who/when for measurement:

  • what to do if the critical limit is not met (corrective action),
  • who will supervise or verify that the plan is properly implemented,
  • how staff will be trained, and
  • how results are communicated to the health inspector.

If the plan is not successful, it needs to be revised. In this way the PIC can maintain active control over potential risk factors in the facility.

If you have further questions about risk control plans, contact your health inspector.

Contact Information

Telephone: (702) 759-0588


Updated on: October 10, 2018

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