Food Industry Safety
Identifying potential hazards and locating critical points is a way of systematically ensuring all commercial food handling procedures are carried out safely. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a practical method of preventing all biological, chemical and physical hazards across all phases of the food handling chain from production, processing, packaging and distribution.
The underlying principles guiding HACCP include:
Undertake a comprehensive hazard analysis exercise
Determine countermeasures to alleviate all hazards wherever possible
Determine critical control points where action can be taken. This can include any physical location, step or phase of the entire food manufacturing process where the risk can be controlled, and hence eliminated or sufficiently reduced.
In order to establish these critical control points, critical limits must be defined. This means that maximum or minimum levels for specific aspects of potential hazards must be established (e.g. temperature) so acceptable levels can be adhered to.
Develop a series of monitoring procedures and reporting procedures
Establish corrective actions:
A designated course of action is required when critical limits are exceeded. Having clear, concise corrective actions established allows for an organisation to prevent outcomes that would have resulted in serious health and safety risks. This prevents any goods or products of any kind being circulated for sale and consumption.
Ensuring HACCP systems are fully functional:
All HACCP systems require testing to make sure that all critical control points are serving their intended purpose. By validating testing procedures, plants can ensure they are providing safe products. By reviewing the entire HACCP plan, your organisation can move forward with confidence, knowing that risk reduction efforts are verified and validated. The verification process can require advanced testing and analysis, including tasks such as record revision, scientific sampling, testing and analysis with the view to assuring accuracy throughout all aspects of the organisation’s HACCP.
Regulations dictate that detailed record keeping be kept for all hazard analysis and HACCP plans. This allows a clear view of every action that occurs with respect to the established HACCP plan, including monitoring, control and identification of critical point deviation. Implementation of comprehensive record keeping validates the daily work, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements in all stages, all the time.