Understanding Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)
HACCP is an internationally recognized system used to enhance food safety throughout the food chain. More and more companies around the world are using HACCP to prevent, reduce or eliminate potential food safety hazards, including those caused by cross-contamination.
The development of a HACCP system involves:
Compared to traditional inspection procedures, HACCP:
There are two main elements of an effective HACCP system (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point):
1. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
GMPs are designed to control hazards related to plant personnel and the food processing environment. Implementing GMPs creates a safe and suitable environment for food processing. GMPs include procedures and monitoring activities to help ensure that people and premises do not present food safety hazards. GMPs lay the foundation for effective HACCP Plans, and must be developed and implemented prior to HACCP Plans.
Examples of GMPs:
2. HACCP plans
HACCP plans control hazards that are:
HACCP plans prevent, eliminate or reduce potential food safety hazards to an acceptable level, including hazards caused by cross-contamination.
Overview of steps to develop a HACCP plan:
Examples of control measures in a HACCP plan:
HACCP plans follow seven core principles. These principles were standardized by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations to develop food standards, guidelines, and related texts.
1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis
2. Determine the Critical Control Points
A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step or procedure in the process where food processors can apply a control measure. It is essential to prevent, eliminate or reduce a food safety hazard to an acceptable level. To determine the CCPs in your process, you must identify where you can prevent, reduce or eliminate the hazards addressed in your HACCP plan.
3. Establish Critical Limits
Critical limits are criteria that separate safe product from unsafe product. You must set critical limits for each CCP. Critical limits must be clearly defined and measurable.
4. Establish Monitoring Procedures
Monitoring is the scheduled measurement or observation of a CCP relative to its critical limits. All monitoring results must be recorded.
5. Establish Corrective Actions
If your monitoring detects a problem, there is a risk your operation has produced or will produce unsafe food. Your organization must have a plan in place to deal with these risks. For each CCP, you must document the corrective actions you will take to:
6. Establish Verification Procedures
Verification procedures are used to determine if the HACCP system is working correctly. Verification involves methods, procedures, tests and other checks in addition to monitoring.
7. Establish Record-Keeping and Documentation Procedures
You must document your HACCP plans, from start to finish. This includes all of the items listed above. All required monitoring and verification records must be complete and accurate.
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