HACCP is a food safety and a risk management tool that stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and is focused on understanding the risks you may have in your food products. We as a community, understand that a strong food safety plan is the foundation of how we create a safe food supply for our customers and the consumer. Using regulatory guidance to insure we are providing a safe product is the essence of a proper risk management plan. The HACCP concept was born of a need to have safe food in any environment. When trying times occur we look to best practices. In the 1960s, NASA, working with industry, developed a concept for consistent development of safe food. It was an important mission to come up with ways to send food up for extended periods of time. The thought was how to have a repeatable program that allowed food production without risking foodborne illness.
What are some entities that use HACCP?
HACCP is a fundamental concept for every establishment that produces food for human consumption and is regulated for the several industries listed above.
HACCP is an international risk management system adopted by many countries around the world. Organizations that are involved with the preparation, processing, handling, packaging, transporting and distribution of food are working with the HACCP standards. It is crucial and necessary for all sectors, including the hospitality industry, food manufacturers and logistics, food wholesalers and retailers. Understanding the food safety hazards in all workplaces is what allows companies to tell the story of their facility. The HACCP standard ensures that the entire production process of food products is done with trained individuals and is reducing the risk of contamination issues to a minimum. HACCP is a food safety tool first and foremost but the science does lend itself to a greater quality product. When processing food products there are situations when we have a deviation and a corrective action are necessary. Businesses must develop a hazard analysis as to what can go wrong for each stage of production, and how this process will impact product safety. The potential risks will be described in a food safety plan; the HACCP plan.
Examples of Health Hazards in Food
A hazard is, after a company does research on their product, something that is reasonably likely to cause injury or illness to a consumer. By identifying and then managing health hazards in preparation and processing of food in a facility increases the safety of the product and is now a repeatable standard. Examples are:
Biological hazards such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can contaminate food and lead to serious infection after ingestion.
Chemical hazards as a result of harmful substances such as dioxins, heavy metals, antifungals and pesticides.
Physical hazards including sharp particles made of metal, wood, bone, or glass or other splinters that can threaten people’s health.