This is an internationally recognized system that is used for the reduction of risks and safety hazards in the production of food. The ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System integrates HACCP Principles into the formulation of the standard and its several principles. HACCP is used so that certain potential hazards are identified at specific points and are controlled so that it will mutate into a terrible danger.
Usually these hazards are of a chemical, biological or physical nature and are a risk for companies who are involved in the manufacturing, processing and distribution of food. This is why the HACCP was conceived in the first place so that such incidents can be eliminated. Recently, the effects of HACCP have been recognized outside of the food industry and many countries have found out that it can be used in the identification and control of their own products. Examples are: cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
For a HACCP System to succeed, there should be real and incisive information that should be disseminated to all those involved in your organisation’s process. This means that your employees’ participation and cognizance of the HACCP is imperative towards the successful implementation of the CCPS. They should have a clear understanding of what the HACCP is and also be trained to possess the skills necessary for proper functioning it in the system. It is the responsibility of the management to have the employees prepped up and ready to undertake their responsibilities. Therefore, it is important that they be given the necessary equipment and resources needed.
These are the indispensable programs or steps or measures taken at different levels of the production mechanism so as to give a rigid foundation for the development of a HACCP System. One of the constituents of pre-requisite programs, and that which gives a solid foundation for the HACCP system to operate are the cGMP’s( current Good Manufacturing Practices). The pre-requisite programs provide the basic environmental and operating conditions for the production of safe and wholesome food. The common prerequisite programs that are usually used include but not restricted to:
Facilities: The establishment where the food production occurs should be located, constructed and maintained according to the very sanitary principles. There should exist linear product flow and traffic control so there is no cross-contamination from raw to cooked materials.
Supplier Control: The facility should be assured that their suppliers are bringing in products that have been tested with effective GMP and food safety programs. This will eventually be the subject of future of supplier guarantee and supplier HACCP system verification.
Specifications: Each material brought it and resources accumulated will have to have written specifications to ensure conformity.
Production Equipment: Construction and installation of materials should be done according to good sanitary principles. They must also be subjected to preventive maintenance and calibration via regular schedules with documentation.
Cleaning and sanitation: There should be in place a master sanitation schedule that will bring about procedures for cleaning and sanitation of the equipment as well as the facility, which will be written and followed.
Personal Hygiene: Everyone involved directly in the production process must be able to follow the right requirements for personal hygiene which should be regularly maintained.
Training: There should be a documented training procedure for all the employees involving personal hygiene, GMP, cleaning and sanitation procedures, personal safety, and their role in the HACCP Program.
Chemical Control: There should be installed in careful documented procedures all the types of segregation and proper use of non-food chemicals in the plant. Cleaning chemicals, fumigants, and pesticides can be categorized under these definitions.
Receiving, Storage and Shipping: When storing raw materials and products, it should be made sure that they are done so in ideal sanitary and environmental conditions such as the temperature and humidity inside, so that they remain safe and wholesome.
Traceability and Recall: If there arises scenarios where your products need to be recalled, then there should be installed a recall system which would have lot-coded the products.
Pest Control: An effective pest control system should be in place.
Developing an HACCP Plan
The first step to be taken for to develop an HACCP Plan is to gather the organisation’s best resources, those who possess great knowledge and information about the essential functioning of the HACCP and how it is applied in various scenarios. The team that is assembled should be heterogeneous and multi-disciplinary, consisting of individuals from several fields such as engineering, production, sanitation, quality assurance, and food microbiology. Also experts who are knowledgeable in the food processing are definitely required to assess the culmination of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Plan.
The next step is to describe the food chain and its distribution, where a general description of the food, ingredients, and processing methods has to be defined. All the methods that should be used for the distribution should be carefully informed.
Subsequently, there needs to be described the purpose of the food that is produced and to whom it is distributed to.
The creation of a flow diagram will make it easier to comprehend the process to everyone involved and each individual process can be understood with clarity, without eliminating the essential points.
The HACCP team will perform a review of the flow diagram to make sure that everything is properly represented and there is clarity. Any modification will be made immediately.
The Hazard Analysis
The Hazard Analysis Process involves a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards. This is based on sever core principles:
- Conduct a hazard analysis
- Determine the critical control points
- Establish critical limits
- Establish monitoring procedures
- Establish corrective measures
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish verification procedures
- Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures
Once this system is deployed, the subsequent task is to maintain it effectively. This calls for regularly scheduled verification activities.