HACCP Principles for Food Safety
The HACCP food safety method operates according to seven laws or principles, each of which, when followed meticulously, allows you to recognize and manage safety hazards before they pose a safety threat to your food and the health of your customers.
Identify the Hazards
In order to pinpoint the risks associated with your production process, you first need to evaluate each step of the process to determine the potential risks of each step. It could be Salmonella poisoning due to cross-contamination of cooked and raw meat, uncovered food being contaminated with the chemicals in your detergent for example, or getting a broken glass or metal piece into the food due to leaving it uncovered.
Determine the Critical Control Points
Recognize the particular points within the production process where contamination or poisoning risks are most likely to occur. For example, ensuring that meat is thoroughly cooked will eliminate the risk of getting dangerous pathogens such as Escherichia coli in the food.
Set Critical Limits
Establish boundaries that let you know when your critical control points have been reached, such as ensuring that burgers are cooked at a temperature of 75 degrees Celsius and above in order to kill harmful pathogens while making sure you don’t overcook them.
Develop a CCP Monitoring System
Develop a system that’ll enable you to monitor what happens during each stage of the process, so that you’re able to better manage your CCPs. Simple touchstones such as time duration, temperature and measurements are a great way to keep track of what happens at each point in your CCPs. A good example would be to examine the food storage in your refrigerator to ensure that its temperature is being maintained at the standard temperature of below 5 degrees Celsius.
Develop Corrective Steps
These steps should be followed whenever CCPs get out of control: Should you examine the fridge only to discover that the food is below or above the required temperature, you should have corrective measures in place to help you deal with the issue, such as getting a technician to look at the fridge and disposing of the damaged food to prevent poisoning.
Establish Verification Procedures
Make changes to the system when necessary, to adapt to the changing conditions of your process, in order to make your operation more efficient over time. For example, it’s important to check the settings and capabilities of new cooking appliances and implements to ensure that they are in compliance with HACCP standards so that you’re able to achieve the same results consistently.
Document everything related to these principles and their execution within your process. The only way to ensure that you successfully implement the HACCP method within your organization is to keep your house in order with consistent record keeping and documentation so that you can easily manage incidences like recalls and contamination. Having a written record will not only serve as evidence but will also help you maintain control while minimizing paperwork.