A Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system tries to reduce food safety risks and hazards. HACCP detects potential threats to public health and enables a proactive approach to food safety by establishing crucial control points.
The HACCP system identifies and regulates the three potential food safety hazards: biological, chemical, and physical. Companies that manufacture, process, or handle food items are encouraged to employ a HACCP plan to reduce or eliminate food safety hazards in their goods.
Breaking It Down
It follows twelve steps to help ensure the successful deployment and integration of HACCP throughout a company:
- To create an effective Food Safety Plan, assemble a HACCP team with product-specific knowledge and competence. Individuals knowledgeable with all parts of the manufacturing process, as well as specialists with experience in specialised areas such as engineering or microbiology, should make up the team. In some circumstances, it may be important to consult with outside experts.
- Describe the product in detail, including its composition, physical/chemical structure, microbicidal/static treatments, packaging, storage conditions, and distribution methods.
- Determine the intended/expected use of the good by the end user. It is also critical to establish the consumer target groups. Sensitive groups, such as children or the elderly, may require special consideration.
- Construct a flow diagram that accurately represents each step in the production process—from raw materials to finished product—and can include factory and equipment arrangement details, component specifications, design of machinery features, time/temperature data, cleaning and hygiene procedures, and storage conditions.
- Verify the flow diagram's alignment with what happens on-site. The operation should be watched at each stage, and any inconsistencies between the schematic and standard practice should be recorded and corrected. The flow diagram must be precise since the data it includes is used for hazard analysis and the identification of Critical Control Points (CCPs).
- Conduct a hazard analysis for each process stage to identify potential biological, chemical, or physical dangers. This evaluation also comprises rating the hazard using a risk matrix, establishing if the hazard is likely to occur, and defining the preventative controls for the process step.
- Determine Critical Control Points (CCPs)—areas where previously recognised dangers can be eliminated. The final HACCP Plan will emphasise process control and monitoring at these locations.
- Establish essential limitations and build strategies to mitigate risk at CCPs. A single step can have many critical limits. Criteria used to define critical limits must be quantitative and include rating and ranking of dangers for each stage of the flowchart.
- Monitor CCPs and implement mechanisms to ensure that critical limits are met. Monitoring techniques must be able to detect loss of control at the CCP and convey this information in time to make appropriate adjustments so that control of the process is regained before critical limits are exceeded. When monitoring findings show a trend towards a loss of control at a CCP, process modifications should be implemented wherever practicable.
- Establish preplanned corrective measures for each CCP in the HACCP plan that can be used if the CCP is not under control. If monitoring reveals an error from a CCP's critical limits, corrective action (e.g., adequate isolation and disposal of impacted product) must be implemented.
- Establish proper HACCP documentation and recordkeeping for all HACCP processes so that the company can verify that controls have been put in existence and that they are kept correctly.
- Establish processes for determining whether the HACCP system is functioning properly. Detailed evaluations of all parts of the HACCP system and its records should be included in the validation procedures. The documentation should demonstrate that CCPs are under control, as well as the nature and degree of any deviations from critical limits, as well as the corrective steps taken in each situation.
Creating and implementing a HACCP program necessitates a major investment of time and effort. Though HACCP is evolving, it is up to the organization to establish and customise HACCP programs to make them effective and workable. These twelve phases reduce HACCP down into digestible chunks and will assist in ensuring that the company regularly and reliably produces safe food that will not hurt the consumer.