What is HACCP?
HACCP is basically a world-renowned food and safety risk management method that’s designed to ensure that catering, hospitality establishments, and organizations adhere to proper food safety regulations. This means serving customers with clean and safe, yet palatable food that is produced in sanitary conditions. In turn, this gives customers, regulators and the general public a peace of mind knowing that a proper food safety program is being followed and maintained at their preferred establishment.
How Does It Work?
HACCP is a system which has been specifically developed to address food safety by evaluating and managing food safety from a chemical, biological and physical standpoint. This involves evaluating food while it’s still in a raw state, as well as throughout the procurement and handling process. HACCP even monitors food safety levels in the manufacturing, distribution and consumption phases. It provides food vendors and manufacturers with an easy to follow yardstick that they use to manage the safety of their food.
It’s a hands-on and practical approach which enables one to truly minimize the risk of food contamination by carefully managing each aspect of its production process. Doing so enables you to mitigate the risks associated with common food hazards.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the HACCP method is most effective when combined with other measures such as practicing good hygiene and sanitation, as well as having a rigorous pest control program in place, and ensuring traceability of the end product in case of a recall.
Why is HACCP Important?
The HACCP program is very important because it can directly mitigate incidences like product recall or customer complaints by effectively managing the risks associated with handling raw materials, different implements, and common errors. The HACCP program also helps to increase awareness about these risks while improving the overall performance in implementing the different processes that go into creating the final product.
Additionally, being in compliance with the HACCP program automatically puts you into alignment with the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, which is aimed at ensuring complete food safety and control.
5 Steps to Developing a HACCP Plan
- Bring together a team of people who are going to be responsible for the HACCP within your organization.
- Form an accurate and thorough description of your product.
- Categorize your product according to its intended use.
- Develop a flow chart.
- Make sure that the flowchart coincides with the onsite conditions by doing an on-site confirmation.
The Seven Principles
- Carry out an analysis of the hazards in your operational space.
- Detect the Critical Control Points to focus on.
- Make sure each critical control point has boundaries.
- Develop requirements for the proper observation and control of the critical control points.
- Develop corrective measures and actionable steps to implement them.
- Develop and maintain proper record keeping procedures.
- Keep your records up to date for purposes of verification.