HACCP

 Raw and end-products may be tested for the presence, level, or absence of microorganisms. Traditionally these practices were used to reduce manufacturing defects in dairy products and ensure compliance with specifications and regulations, however, they have many drawbacks:

  1. destructive and time consuming
  2. slow response
  3. small sample size
  4. delays in the release of the food

In the 1960's, the Pillsbury Company, the U.S. Army, and NASA introduced a system for assuring pathogen-free foods for the space program. This system, called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), is a focus on critical food safety areas as part of total quality programs. It involves a critical examination of the entire food manufacturing process to determine every step where there is a possibility of physical, chemical, or microbiological contamination of the food which would render it unsafe or unacceptable for human consumption. These identified points are the critical control points (CCP). There are seven prinicples to HACCP:

  1. analyze hazards
  2. determine CCPs
  3. establish critical limits
  4. establish monitoring procedures
  5. establish deviation procedures
  6. establish verification procedures
  7. establish record keeping procedures

Before these principles can be put into place, a prerequisite program and preliminary setup is necessary.

Prerequisite Program:

  • premise control
  • receiving and storage control
  • equipment performance and maintenance control
  • personnel training
  • sanitation
  • recall procedure

Preliminary Setup:

  • assemble team
  • describe the product
  • identify intended use
  • construct flow diagram and plant schematic
  • verify the diagram on-site

Food Safety Enhancement Program-FSEP is The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's HACCP initiative (see -> food -> safe food production systems). There is extensive information at their Web site regarding FSEP, including implementation manuals, HACCP curriculum guidelines, and generic models.