HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
Hygiene and sanitation of food at all levels is an important and compulsory process that needs serious and constant consideration. Food handling practices, personal hygiene and clean premises are to be maintained and clean procedures to be followed by the staff. In 1971, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) took form at the National conference of Food Production, where risk assessment was combined with the critical point concept. The United Nations Codex Alimentarius Commission Food Hygiene standard approved HACCP as an internationally accepted method for ensuring food safety by identifying hazards and monitoring the Critical Control Points (CCP) in the process.
A Hazard is defined as a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect. Hazards can be
☆physical (metal contamination)
☆chemical (a cleaning product could contaminate the product or there are toxins that could contaminate the product) and
☆biological (bacteria or virus could contaminate the product).
HACCP is a procedure that examines each stage in the food production process. It helps to find the hazard that may appear at any stage of the food production process. It critically examines each stage of the food process until it reaches the customer. Once the potential hazard is found in the process, whether it is within the preparation, processing, storage or service, it should be either be eliminated or minimized.
Awareness of food-borne illness is on the rise and concern throughout the industry is driving the use of HACCP and HACCP based certification programmes.
Principles of HACCP
Identification of the hazard is done in two steps, first identify what the hazard is, then evaluate the risk of the hazard for the consumer. The hazard evaluation is a determination of the degree of risk to the consumer.
Identify Critical Control Points
A Critical Control Point (CCP) is a procedure in a food manufacturing process. It can be applied at the point at which a hazard is identified. This will prevent, eliminate, or reduce the hazard to an acceptable level. Thus, food safety can be achieved.
Establish critical limits for each Critical Control Point
A critical limit is the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical hazard to the food must be controlled. The various methods that can be used to control the hazard should be identified.
Establish Critical Control Point monitoring requirements
The methods for control should be monitored. This is necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each Critical Control Point. Each monitoring procedure and its frequency should be listed in the organization’s HACCP plan.
Establish corrective action
The organization’s HACCP plan is needed to identify the corrective action to be taken if a critical limit is not met. Corrective action are intended to ensure that no product is injurious to health when it enters the market.
Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is working as intended
Validation ensures that there is production of a safe product scientifically. Verification ensures the HACCP plan is working as intended. Verification procedures also include a review of HACCP plans, CCP records, critical limits and microbial sampling and analysis.
Establish record keeping procedures
The HACCP regulation requires that all organizations to maintain certain documents, such as hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of Critical Control Points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations. Implementation involves monitoring, verifying, and validating of the daily work that is compliant with regulatory requirements in all stages.
HACCP and the quality management system together form an organization’s Total Quality Management system.
HACCP can be adopted by all sections of the food industry. A simplified version of HACCP has also been introduced called Assured Safe Catering.
Examples of Critical Control Points
☆Inspection (including temperature checks) of goods on delivery and before use.
☆Check for fresh and quality goods while receiving and delivery. Reject goods if spoilage is identified.
☆Separate storage and holding of ingredients and finished products.
☆Separate freezers should be provided for raw and cooked foods.
☆Correct temperature ranges for refrigerated and frozen foods. Maintain refrigerator temperature between 34°F and 40°F. The freezer temperature should be -10 to -20°F.
☆Prevent cross contamination with other menu items-Use gloves, tongs and different ladles while serving food.
☆Personal hygiene and health standardThe food service personnel should be free from infections while preparing and serving.
☆Proficiency in use and cleaning of equipment-Separate sinks and cutting boards should be used for vegetables and meat.
How to establish HACCP?
☆Choose a specific menu or group of items in a menu
☆Draw up a flow diagram showing how the items are made
☆Select the most relevant person who should
a) Modify the flow diagram if necessary
b) Inspect each stage and clearly find out where significant hazards could occur both under normal and occasional conditions
c) Make a note of all predictable causes of each hazard
d) Point out each CCP and how they can be controlled State the control procedures at each CCP and change working practices as necessary.
How to maintain HACCP?
☆Monitor the information (E.g.. Record temperature and maintain a chart) and take effective action when needed.
☆Alter the HACCP system as necessary in the processes.
☆Periodic checks should be carried out to ensure all instruments are safe.
☆Periodic microbiological testing should be done in the lab of raw materials, equipment and product.
☆Ensure adequate personnel monitoring, training and retraining.
Use of HACCP in food service operations
The most common aspects to be considered are:
☆Handling and storage procedures from delivery to service of the menu items
☆Handling items and temperatures
☆Cooking time and