Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Principle
HACCP is a food safety program developed nearly 30 years ago and is applicable to the food processing industry for controlling hazards that are likely to occur in the food processing chain. It focuses on preventing hazards that could cause food-borne illnesses by applying science-based controls, from raw material to finished products. Safety of the food supply is key to consumer confidence.
HACCP is a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards. System is based on assessing the natural hazards or risks in a particular product or process and designing a system to control them. Step wise process includes identification of hazards and installation of preventative measures to eliminate or reduce hazards in foods. It is proactive form of defense management rather than reactive. HACCP does not rely on end product testing and should be monitored from the beginning of the process i.e., receiving of ingredients, packaging and then through process steps and to final product and shipping.
The end objective of HACCP is to make the product as safe as possible and to be able to prove that the product was processed as safe as possible. The assurance of safety comes from the process of identifying the hazards, establishing controls for the identified hazards, monitoring the controls and periodically verifying that the system works. Hazard can be physical, chemical, biological or allergen in nature. Not only the plant operator but people like producer/grower, manufacturer. distributor, transporter, retailer is also responsible for preventing any type of hazard to product. Three points that’s that required to be ponder upon are what hazards can enter the product? Where do these hazards occur? How can we control or eliminate these hazards?
Foundation to a HACCP program includes Good Manufacturing Practices, addresses food safety at all stages from receiving to shipping, includes indirect hazards. Hazard can arise from any point of material handling stage.
- Premises: Under premises falls outside property and building, design, construction & maintenance, lighting, ventilation, waste disposal, inedible areas, employee & sanitary facilities, water/steam/ice etc. All hazard that can arise from above mentioned area’s need to be properly checked.
- Transportation and Storage: Considerable points in this are food carriers, temperature controls, receiving and storage, incoming ingredients and packaging, non-food chemicals and finished product storage.
- Equipment: Design, installation, maintenance and calibration of equipment can lead to different type of hazard.
- Personnel: It is important to determine if the person appointed for job is trained well and have understanding for food safety.
- Sanitation & Pest Control: Process equipment & utensils, floors, locker rooms, lunchrooms, washrooms
- Allergen Control: Identification of Allergens, their control like special handling, segregation, special sanitization procedures, rework and proper labelling
- Supplier Quality Assurance: Vendor approval process, product specification and inspection of incoming materials
The seven HACCP principles are included in the international standard ISO 22000 FSMS 2011. This standard is a complete food safety and quality management system, incorporating the elements of prerequisite programmes like GMP & SSOP. HACCP is based on seven principles: –
- Conduct Hazard Analysis: Firstly, one should evaluate the processes, and then determine and identify various entry points for hazard. Hazard may be in any form making the food unsafe for consumption.
- Identify Critical Control Point: In an on-going process or steps, critical points should be determined. Critical control points are points in the manufacturing process at which control can be applied.
- Establish Critical Limit: During a manufacturing process various parameter are involved that decides the quality of product and any change in these parameter can adversely affect the product. Hence it is important to determine and establish maximum and minimum level for such parameters.
- Establish Monitoring Procedures: After setting the critical control limit it is required to have them monitored at every specific interval of time, for which systematic procedure is required to check if the critical limits are being followed.
- Take Corrective action: Actions need to be planned in case the critical limits are not being followed during the process or the parameters are showing wide variation from the set points. Action plan can control any unwanted situation like product quality loss and others. Once small variations are noted on the values, corrective actions should be immediately implemented.
- Verify Procedures: It is must to get all the HACCP plan validated, which help to check if they are effect or not. To verify if the monitoring procedures are efficient, end product can be tested. Along with verification there should be evidence for accuracy as well, i.e., results must be validated to prove the efficiency of HACCP plan.
- Establish record keeping Procedures: According to HACCP regulation, it is required to maintain documents and records showing written HACCP plan, set critical limit points, verification and validation data.