Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)

Legalities - HACCP

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. It is a seven-step system that was developed to assist people producing foods to reduce food borne illnesses. 

Basically:

  • Develop Hazard Analysis. Write the process flow chart for ALL products made and sold in the facility.
  • ID critical control points in the process – identify points of contamination, for example flies into open vat, bacteria or sanitizers in milk cans, etc.
  • ID limits for those control points – 100 ppm sanitizer in the line is ok? 
  • Record Keeping – Make spreadsheets that you both write on and have dates, who did it, etc.
  • ID corrective actions – If the fly falls into the vat, did someone fish it out?
  • Verification of this process – sending the samples to a lab to test for listeria or coliform...

Contamination can be:

  • Physical is something that can fall into or be incorporated into the product, like hair, steel shavings from packaging machine or agitator brushing against wall, flies, etc.;
  • Chemical is a product that is added that is not ingredient and is chemical in nature.  This could be sanitizer, acid, sanitary lubricants, steam conditioners, etc.
  • Biological is something that is a bacteria, phage, fungus, yeast or virus. 

For dairy HACCP is voluntary. It is, however, becoming more interesting for supermarket accounts and for certain cheese associations. It would be a good idea to become familiar with the basic concept of this process and incorporate it into your risk management and recall plan.