Fisheries and Land Resources

Forestry and Agrifoods

HACCP

HACCP is the acronym for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. HACCP is a science-based, systematic, and preventative approach to ensure the safety of food. It is a tool to identify and assess biological, physical and chemical hazards, establish controls and monitor these controls. The system focuses on prevention rather then relying on end-product testing. It is internationally recognized and is being used by the food industry around the world.

HACCP originated in the 1960's when the Pillsbury Company developed it for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space program to produce the safest food possible for space travel.

An effective HACCP system will consist of prerequisite programs and HACCP plans. Prerequisite programs, also known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), should be in place before an effective HACCP system can be implemented. Prerequisite Programs are steps or procedures that control the operational conditions in a food establishment creating environmental conditions that are favorable for the production of safe food. Some examples of prerequisite programs are pest control, sanitation, and employee hygiene. HACCP plans control hazards related to the food products being processed and/or the specific manufacturing processes in an establishment. HACCP plans are developed using the 7 Principles of HACCP standardized by the Codex Alimentarius Commission:

Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis
Principle 2: Identify critical control points (CCPs)
Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each CCP
Principle 4: Establish monitoring procedures
Principle 5: Establish corrective actions
Principle 6: Establish verification procedures
Principle 7: Establish documentation and recording keeping

A HACCP system is the responsibility of the company and it is up to the company to develop, implement and maintain their HACCP system.

A company may benefit if it implements an effective HACCP system. Some potential benefits are:

  • Enhanced food safety
  • Maintained and increased market access
  • Improved operational activities
  • Reduced costly recall and wastage
  • Increased consumer confidence
  • Improved product quality and consistency
  • Demonstration of due diligence and reduced business liability.

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