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WHAT IS HACCP IN FOOD INDUSTRY

 

The assurance of the safety of food products is being controlled by a universal system called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). The implementation of the above system has been formulated by various guidelines which includes

  • Development of a flow diagram.
  • Identification of the hazards.
  • Controls implemented for controlling hazards at critical control points (CCP’s).
  • Continuous monitoring of the CCP’s and recording information and verification for the working of the HACCP plan.

Food safety is of grave importance to the manufacturers of processed food products. Any product/s which may be responsible for injury, illness, or death of a consumer is anything which no manufacturer would like to produce or sell in the market. It creates catastrophic economic results for a food manufacturer when its product fails to create assurance in the market or among the minds of the consumer. The legal actions against the manufacturer by the regulatory bodies or competent authorities resulting in negative publicity may adversely have many more consequences in the brand resulting in affecting of a broad range of other products also. The heavy penalty and the risk of closure of the business due to the regulatory actions of the land are of critical concern for a manufacturer. To avoid all such possibilities the food manufacturers dedicate a significant amount of their resources for ensuring a safe food product for the consumer. At this point, the guidelines of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system come to play an important role in the food manufacturer.

HACCP in food Industry is a systematic approach to hazard identification, assessment, and control. HACCP programs identify the potential hazards which may be associated with food from growth, through harvesting, processing, storing, and distributing to the consumers’ hands.

HACCP is a management tool that focuses attention on food safety. A HACCP plan first identifies and assesses all the potential health risks that a particular food may present to the consumer. At this point expertise in food safety must be applied to discriminate between those risks which are significant and those which are so insignificant that they need not be included in the HACCP plan. This evaluation of potential risk must consider all risks associated with ingredients, production practices, and processes as well as storage, distribution, retailing, and consumer storage and use. The controls and monitoring necessary to minimize significant risks are then identified and implemented. Criteria for selection of CCP’ s may differ depending on whether we are addressing a processed product, such as a precooked meat item, or a transformed/raw ingredient such as ground beef. In the case of cooked products, it is possible to eliminate pathogens during the cooking process. Thus, the goal of establishing CCP’s for biological hazards for cooked products would be to eliminate contaminants and to prevent their reintroduction following cooking. But for a product such as raw ground beef, we cannot eliminate pathogens if present (unless the product is irradiated). The goal of our HACCP plan then is to minimize the possibility of contamination with pathogens and minimize their potential for growth. The individuality of each product and processing system must be considered in HACCP plan development. Thus, each product in a manufacturing plant will have its own HACCP plan tailored to its production system.

STEPS IN IMPLEMENTING A HACCP PROGRAM

1. Gain management commitment. 

Management of a company needs to support food safety and implementation of HACCP in their processing facilities. They have to learn the advantages of HACCP Certification just as the responsibility, expenses, and execution period for such a program. For effective HACCP implementation, visible management help and responsibility are of paramount significance.

2. Identify the HACCP team.

Obtaining a commitment from senior management, a HACCP team responsible for implementing the program must be identified. The HACCP team should be multidisciplinary. The team should include, but not necessarily be limited to, members from manufacturing, sanitation, quality control, engineering, and research and development. Knowledge of ingredients, processing systems, and potential hazards from operations, equipment, storage, and distribution rests with more than one individual or group. Evaluations of hazards, identification of controls and their limits, and developing the associated monitoring and documentation requires input from various disciplines. The HACCP team should be composed of members capable of providing this information. HACCP in food Indust is a plant program from conception to implementation and use. A common misconception is that HACCP is a quality control (QC) program, and thus, a HACCP team should be staffed solely with QC personnel. With a team composed of QC personnel, the resultant HACCP program is generally less effective than one which recognizes the HACCP role and responsibilities of every person involved in food production. The intent of HACCP is not to increase inspections under the auspices of assuring safety; rather, the intent is to identify hazards and implement proper monitoring and control programs to assure the safety of the finished product by minimizing or eliminating potential hazards during processing. The responsibility to monitor and control a particular safety point frequently rests with plant personnel other than QC; QC’s role will be one of auditing and verification to assure compliance. For smaller food processors, where broad expertise may not be available, HACCP experts or process authorities familiar with the implementation of HACCP should be consulted. Such experts may be able to assist in identifying the best composition for the HACCP team as well as providing needed expertise in deficient areas.

3. Provide the HACCP team and line workers with training.

At least one group member(s) should be prepared in the standards of HACCP and its application or execution. This part would then be able to fill in as an asset to other team members. During the beginning times of implementation, line laborers should likewise be prepared comparative with their jobs in the HACCP application. Since these are the individuals who have control of the operation, they must be included in the process to make HACCP work. The training program should concentrate on the facility’s items and be unequivocally applications-situated. Participants should gain sufficient understanding to implement a HACCP program. The training program should focus on safety and should differentiate safety concerns from quality concerns and regulatory compliance. Training could be conducted by in-house HACCP experts, an outside HACCP course or consultants brought in to aid in the implementation of the program.

4. Utilize the following implementation guidelines.

The guidelines prescribed by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) provide a general approach to the implementation of a HACCP program. Other references also are available which discuss various aspects of HACCP implementation. Adherence to the seven principles of HACCP identified by the NACMCF is recommended in developing the program.

SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF HACCP FOR FOOD INDUSTRY:-

  • Principle No. 1: Conduct a hazard analysis. Set up a rundown of steps in the process where significant hazards occur and describe the preventive measures.
  • Principle No. 2: Identify the CCP’s in the process.
  • Principle No. 3: Establish the critical limits for preventive measures associated with each identified CCP.
  • Principle No. 4: Establish CCP monitoring requirements. Establish procedures for using the results of observing to modify the procedure and look after control.
  • Principle No. 5: Establish corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that there is a deviation from an established critical limit.
  • Principle No. 6: Establish effective record-keeping procedures that document the HACCP system.
  • Principle No. 7: Establish procedures for verification that the HACCP system is working correctly

The HACCP concept, which focuses on food safety, is a systematic approach to hazard identification, assessment, and control. The system offers a rational approach to the control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards in foods; it avoids many weaknesses inherent in the traditional, end product inspection approach. The focus of the system is to direct attention to the control of key factors that affect the safety of the food. HACCP applies to all parts of the food chain from production through processing to use in the home.

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