HACCP

Food safety has been of concern to humankind since the dawn of history, and many of the problems encountered in our food supply go back to the earliest recorded years. Many rules and recommendations advocated in religious or historical texts are evidence of the concern to protect people against foodborne diseases and food adulteration.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points or HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level. It provides a preventive and thus a cost-effective approach to food safety, when food safety control is integrated into the design of the process rather than the present ineffective system of end-product testing.

The HACCP system can be applied throughout the food chain, from the primary producer to final consumer. Its implementation should be guided by scientific evidence of risks to human health. The successful application of HACCP requires the full commitment and involvement of management and the workforce. It also requires a multidisciplinary approach. This multidisciplinary approach should include, when appropriate, expertise in agronomy, veterinary science/medicine, production, microbiology, public health, food technology, environmental health, chemistry, and engineering, according to the particular study.

The HACCP system consists of the following seven principles:

Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis.

Principle 2: Determine the Critical Control Points (CCPs).

Principle 3: Establish critical limit(s).

Principle 4: Establish a system to monitor control of the CCP.

Principle 5: Establish the corrective action to be taken when monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is not under control.

Principle 6: Establish procedures for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.

Principle 7: Establish documentation concerning all procedures and records appropriate to these principles and their application.