Implementing HACCP to Ensure Quality and Safety Across the Food Supply Chain

haccp quality and safety food supply

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. When running a food business, the principles set out by HACCP must be followed. This is done to ensure quality and safety across the entire food supply chain. Yet, for newcomers to the world of HACCP, the whole process can be a tad perplexing. This starter guide aims to clear up the confusion.

What is HACCP?

HACCP is a type of process control system. It is used to identify potential hazards and where these may crop up during the food production process. To stop these hazards from occurring and causing issues, stringent actions are incorporated with the help of HACCP. Even though this process was first introduced in the 1960s for astronauts, it still plays a key role in the food industry.

HACCP and its seven principles

There are seven main principles that make up HACCP. These are as follows:

1. Perform a hazard analysis: The first step is performing a hazard analysis. This involves finding the most likely scenarios for hazards to occur across your food supply chain.

2. Decide on critical control points: This determines control application for preventing, reducing, or eliminating food safety hazards.

3. Set critical limits: With the aforementioned critical control points, a critical limit is the minimum and/or maximum value for controlling a physical, chemical, or biological parameter to an acceptable level for food safety.

4. Defined monitoring procedures: A standard monitoring procedure will incorporate how and when the measurement is taken, along with its frequency and who is responsible for taking the measurement.

5. Corrective actions: If there’s a deviation from the critical limit, this is where corrective actions are used. This identifies problems and limits the damage caused. It’s also used to assess and prevent these issues from making an appearance again.

6. Use verification procedures: To validate the HACCP plan, it’s important to see if the system functions as expected. Certain activities to audit critical control points, product testing, prior shipment review, etc., can be used to verify the process.

7. Documentation and record-keeping: You must prove your food has been produced safely. As a result, a HACCP plan needs to record information and provide the right documentation.

As you can gather from these principles, HACCP is important for the food supply chain. Chemical, microbiological, physical contaminants, and other major food risks are controlled. With the right combination of technology and scientific learning, HACCP supports safer food and ensures public health is better protected.

Conclusion

This guide – and, in general, HACCP – is only the start. There are plenty of other terms you have to become familiar with in regard to food safety. To learn more, you can find out the difference between PRP, OPRP, and CCP with this comprehensive guide by safefood360.com.

Yet, with HACCP in place, this is a giant step towards improving the safety standards of your food supply chain. There are fewer chances of hazards occurring. The result: your business is in a stronger position to prevent serious situations from impacting overall performance.

Amie has a love for numbers and holds a master’s degree in finance. When she’s not playing with numbers or words or pottering in the garden, you can find her in the kitchen roasting her own coffee beans.