HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. This system is designed to fight safety hazards potentially present in food throughout the manufacturing process. Any company that is involved in manufacturing and processing food has the potential to implement the HACCP system and is highly encouraged to do so. It is used to protect consumers and employees from biological, chemical, and physical hazards that have the possibility of making their way into our food system.
Food is sourced from all over the world to supply consumers with produce or processed foods that cannot be grown or manufactured locally, which is why the HACCP system is recognized internationally. HACCP mostly focuses on raw material processing, procurement and handling, manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the product. HACCP also requires other control points such as pest control, traceability, and hygiene training as hazard preventatives.
With the correct training and control points in action, those hazards are minimized or even eliminated altogether.
Principles of HACCP
There are seven main principles to apply to an HACCP system for the improvement of food quality and safety.
- The completion of a hazard analysis
- The identification of critical control points
- The establishment of critical limits
- Monitoring the critical control points
- Establishing corrective action
Furthermore, there are a number of Food Safety Management Systems that offer certification options that are based off of HACCP. These include Safe Quality Food (SFQ), Food Safety Management Certification Scheme (FSSC), British Retail Consortium (BRC), and more. These schemes/certification programs fall under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Taking these into consideration gives the employer a lead on the global market, new pathogens to protect against, increasing incidents of food-borne pathogens, and the protection of their brand.
Overall, implementing an HACCP system is not the single fix all for a food manufacturer’s hazard problem, there are several other schemes like the ones listed above that can also be implemented to create a well-rounded and safe workplace for employees as well as to ensure the safety of consumers.
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