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Updated on 29 May 2020 9.00 AM IST | 4 min read
What is HACCP?
HACCP stands for hazard analysis and critical control point. It is an internationally recognized control system for prevention of biological, chemical and physical hazards and ensures that the food is safe for the customers. HACCP is applicable to all companies or organizations dealing with the manufacturing, trading, supply, retailing, packaging, transportation, farming etc. of food product. HACCP system is applied by the companies to reduce the risk of safety hazards in food items. The guidelines of HACCP system includes identification of food safety hazards, evaluation of food safety hazards, food safety risk analysis, setting of product characteristics, critical control points and limits, verification and identification of potential emergency situation related to food safety etc.
Who Can Use HACCP?
Every business involved in the food supply chain from producers to retailers can use HACCP. Enterprises include but are not restricted to those businesses linked with the following items mentioned below –
Fruit & vegetables
Meat & meat products
Fish & fishery products
Spices & condiments
Nuts & nut products
Bakery & confectionary
Fast food operations etc.
What Is Included In Our Package?
How Does HACCP Work
Firstly, you have to make a commitment that you will maintain quality in each & every food item of your business you are dealing with.
In the second step, you must learn about hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) system, develop your own quality system and implement the same in your organization.
Before implementing HACCP, you need to identify the risks which can affect the quality of your food items as per HACCP guidelines. You must ensure that all the control measures are validated & monitored properly before implementation of HACCP.
HACCP certification is given to a company after recognizing the quality of their food items. National center of HACCP certification (NCHC) helps in assisting companies by giving certified trainers & auditors.
Effective implementation of HACCP will benefit the companies by protecting & enhancing their brands & private labels, promote consumer confidence & confirm to regulatory & market requirements.
Benefits Of HACCP Certification
The benefits of HACCP certification are as follows –
According to codex Alimentarius commission guidelines, HACCP is based on 7 principles –
Here, you evaluate your processes of the company and identify the hazards currently prevailing or can be introduced in the future in your organization. It can be physical (metal contamination), chemical (contamination of product while cleaning), and biological (contamination of the product due to bacteria or virus). Make sure you must be expert in doing accurate evaluation of the hazards.
After identifying and evaluating the hazards, team must identify critical control points to control the hazards unless it will present a risk to the end user. You must identify the preventive measure for each critical control point. There are certain questions which comes in mind while identifying the preventive measures for each critical control point and they are as follows –
- How will you prevent the hazard?
- What will be the minimum and maximum limit of temperature, time, pH, salt level, chlorine level or other processing characteristics that helps in controlling the hazards?
In order to answer these questions, you have to establish a maximum or minimum limit for temperature, time, pH, salt level, chlorine to control the hazard. If this limit will ever exceed, corrective action will be taken.
In this step, you have to establish criteria for each critical point and you have to decide that what criteria must be met in order to control the hazard.
You must establish monitoring procedure for your company in order to monitor the process at the critical control point. Kindly keep records to show that the critical limits have been met.
Monitoring takes place at the critical control point and is essential for the effectiveness of the HACCP program. Monitoring program made up of physical measurements or observations done in a timely manner. In case any out of control situation occurs, information in a time frame allows you to take action in order to control the particular product.
You will establish what action needs to be taken in case critical limit is not met. This is identified for each CCP. The action taken must ensure that no unsafe product will be released by the company in the market. Evaluation is also being done to identify the cause of the problem and to eliminate the cause. The actions taken have two purposes
- To identify the cause & take action quickly.
- To control any non-confirming product resulting from the lack of control
Before an out of control situation occurs, you must take the corrective action quickly to control the loss.
You must establish record keeping procedures in order to show that critical limits have been met and in control of the system. You must include the records from the development of the system and the operation of the system by addressing the regulatory requirements.
You must validate your plan. Once your plan is validated, make sure that your plan should be effective enough to prevent the identified hazards. Do verification that your plan is working as planned, whether measuring and monitoring equipment is in control, whether records are maintained as per the requirements and finally test the end product.
HACCP Certification Process
- Proposal/application for certification – An application is submitted by the company in order to apply for HACCP certification.
- Pre-assessment – In the second step, submitted application is reviewed and pre-assessment has been done for the food items in which the business is dealing with.
- Training – In the third stage, training has been provided by the HACCP certified trainers to the applicant organization by the national center of HACCP certification (NCHC).
- On-site Audit – After providing training to the applicant organization, the on-site audit of the company will be done by HACCP in order to issue the certification. All the food items are checked and verified on the basis of quality.
- Issue of certificate – After the on-site audit, if the quality of the product is found to be good, a certificate of HACCP is issued to the applicant company.
- Surveillance audit – After issuance of certificate, surveillance audit has been done annually or half yearly as finalized during application review process and same agreed by the client.
- Re-certification audit – Re-certification audit is also being conducted within 3 years before the expiry of the HACCP certificate.