Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Whatever type of food production business you have, whether it's a cafe, restaurant, catering or food manufacturing company, it's crucial to be aware of the seven Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). This process control system is integral to identifying and preventing a wide range of microbial and other hazards from impacting food production.
By following the steps known as the seven HACCP principles, it will help you to prevent many of these problems from occurring, and if detected allows these to be corrected quickly. Preventative control measures which include documentation and verification are recognised by most scientific authorities, as well as international organisations, for providing the safest approach to food production.
Seven HACCP Principles
First Principle: Conduct a food safety hazard analysis
Assess your cafe, restaurant, catering company or plant for any food safety hazards that could affect production and identify which preventative measures can be put in place to control these.S
Second Principle: Isolate critical control points
Critical control points are any step, point or procedure during the food production process that control measures can be put in place to either prevent, reduce or even eliminate food safety hazards to an acceptable level. Food safety hazards are defined as any chemical, physical and biological element that can cause food to be unsafe for human consumption.
Third Principle: Determine what the critical limits are for each control point
Critical limits are either the minimum or maximum value at which point a chemical, biological or a physical hazard needs to be controlled to either eliminate, prevent or reduce it so it's at a safe level for human consumption.
Fourth Principle: Establish what the monitoring requirements are for your critical control points
By establishing monitoring activities you can ensure that your food production process is controlled at every critical control point. The monitoring processes and frequencies need to be listed in your HACCP plan.
Fifth Principle: Determine what corrective actions to take
If monitoring deviates from acceptable critical limits of food safety hazards then there needs to be corrective actions established that must be taken to ensure that no health issues result from the deviation.
Sixth Principle: Establish record keeping procedures
Under HACCP regulations, record keeping procedures need to be established which include a hazard analysis, for when hazards occur, and a HACCP plan. Other records which need documenting are critical limits, all monitoring of critical control points and any verification activities and handling deviations which arise from processing.
Seventh Principle: Determine the procedures to verify if the HACCP system is working effectively
Validation is crucial in determining if a HACCP is successful in safe food production, and all plans have to be validated for FSIS approval.Verification is undertaken by the FSIS and often includes tasks to be performed by staff, as well as microbial sampling and analysis.
While it's essential to be aware of all HACCP Principles in food production, it's also important to have restaurant, food manufacturing or cafe insurance in place for risk management.