HACCP (Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Points)
The first step to effective HACCP is determining potential food safety hazards and identifying preventative measures. Food safety hazards may include biological chemicals or anything else which can make the food product unsafe for human consumption. This is the discovery stage where a plan is created to facilitate the identification of any harmful bacteria.
Identify, Create and Observe Critical Control Points
A critical control point (CCP) is a stage within the food production procedure at which it is safe to intervene in order to prevent, reduce or eliminate a food safety hazard. This “control” will often be mapped out by a worker through a CCP decision tree. A critical limit (CL) must then be established for each CCP. The CL can be measured by various metrics, including time, temperature, pH level, or weight. For instance, the specific amount of time it takes to cook a food product (poultry, meat) to ensure that it’s safe for consumption is a critical limit.It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s necessary to monitor and observe the previous activities to ensure the process is controlled at each CCP. To thoroughly monitor a product, you might use a thermometer to check the internal temperature at each CCP.
Correct the Problem and Verify Your Work (Optional)
Write It All Down
Of course, if the monitoring process has indicated that the critical limits were not met, corrective actions must be taken. At this point, someone with HACCP training would determine the problem, and take the required steps to fix it before the product is put on the market. This stage in the process is crucial, because if corrective measures aren’t taken to secure a product’s safety, it can lead to a food recall once the food hits supermarket shelves.Once corrective actions have been taken, you’ll want to verify that they are effective through an extensive evaluation process which includes testing, sampling, and monitoring. This will ensure that the HACCP system is valid and accurate. It will also allow you to make sure that the corrective measures you’ve taken are performing as intended.