HACCP is a systematic procedure serving to identify microbiological, chemical and physical hazards as early as food manufacturing and to eliminate these hazards by takingthe suitable measures.
The origins of the HACCP concept date back to 1959. In this year, NASA implemented a project in co-operation with the Pillsbury Company in the US. At that time the goal was to manufacture food that could even be used in outer space because risk due to biological, chemical or physical hazards could be excluded with a certainty of 100 per cent (“zero defects program”).
After being published by FAO/WHO (Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization) and after being taken over by European food industry and itslegislation, HACCP forms the basis of all the food safety systems. The most important document is the document “Basic Text on Food Hygiene”, which has the title “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System and guidelines for its application, Annex to CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev. Hygiene 4 - 2003)”. The HACCP concept is a basic part of the earlier Food Hygiene Regulation and an elementary part of the current EC Hygiene Package, which has been applicable since 2006. Therefore, the HACCP concept must absolutely be implemented as a legal requirement.
The benefits that may be drawn from the HACCP audit offered by Quality Austria are the optimisation of the implemented HACCP system and evidencing compliance with the obligation to exercise due diligence and efficiently monitor food risk. The main value added is the fact that the industrial and commercial customers’ confidence in product safety is increased. The HACCP concept can easily be integrated in an existing quality management system.
- identifying, assessing and controlling health hazards
- higher product safety and lower product liability risks
- improving quality of the products
- enhancing consumer protection and confidence
Organizations throughout the food chain (e.g. agricultural producers, animal feed and food manufacturers, manufacturers of additives and auxiliary materials, subsuppliers, retailers, catering and logistic companies)
The HACCP concept is based on the 7 HACCP principles:
- analyse hazards
- identify critical control points (CCP)
- establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point
- establish procedures to monitor the critical control points
- establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met
- establish procedures to verify that the system is working properly
- establish effective recordkeeping to document the HACCP system
Before applying the principles of HACCP, five tasks will have to be fulfilled as a logical sequence: establish the HACCP team, provide product descriptions, define the purpose, present the manufacturing process, verify the processes and conditions at the site. After these tasks have been fulfilled, there will be hazard analysis and risk assessment. Hazard analysis and risk assessment include the following steps: identify hazards and risks that may be connected with each phase, identifying the likelihood of their occurrence and estimating their significance for the consumer’s health. Effectiveness of implementation and functionality of a HACCP plan must be verified and documented in detail. The correctness of the plan must be validated periodically.
ISO 9001, Annex to CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev. 4 – 2003), IFS Food, BRC Food, IFS Logistic, ISO/TS 22002-1/-4 Prerequisite Programmes on Food Safety – Food Manufacturing/ Food Packaging Manufacturing, ISO 22000, FSSC
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