HACCP is usually used to improve food safety by any firm involved in the manufacture, processing, or handling of food items. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, and it’s an internationally recognized program for lowering the risk of food safety problems. At particular stages in the process, a HACCP system mandates that possible biological, chemical or physical risks be recognized and managed. So, how does it function? Both prerequisite programs and HACCP plans must be implemented before a HACCP system can be established. (1)
These are programs that are implemented at a facility to manage environmental dangers and avoid product contamination. Make sure you meet the requirements for handling and producing food, such as using approved suppliers, safe drinking water, pest management, stock rotation, staff training, equipment and premises, labeling and traceability, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, and preventive maintenance, before you begin.
Each process or product has its own HACCP plan, which identifies potential hazards and the controls in place to guarantee that they are removed or maintained to appropriate levels in the food product. Unfortunately, not every organization can benefit from the same HACCP template. Your HACCP plan should cover your company’s specific hazards and control points. As a result, creating a HACCP plan from start may appear to be a tough process. The answer, as always, is to surround oneself with the proper people. (2)
Following are the best practices for establishing a proper HACCP Plan (3)
1. Build a HACCP Team
Bringing together a diverse team is the first stage in developing a HACCP strategy. Engineers, production managers, hygiene and safety specialists, microbiologists, and a quality assurance specialist will be among those involved. On possible biological, chemical, and physical concerns, you may need to consult with other specialists.
2. Describe the Product
Describe your product or service once you’ve assembled your team and chosen your contractors. What type of cuisine will you offer, what ingredients will you utilize, and how will it be prepared? Because of the temperature that the food must be maintained at, you must also determine how to distribute your product (frozen, refrigerated, or at room temperature).
3. Specify the Intended Use of Product
When developing a HACCP strategy, you must consider both your product and your target audience. Children, the elderly, and persons with dietary allergies all require unique considerations, which should be addressed in the plan.
4. Build the Flowchart
All of the processes in the HACCP process should be explained clearly and simply in the flowchart. Each recipe at a restaurant, for example, should have its flowchart. It should include not just internal process specifics, but also supplier information and distribution best practices.
5. Confirm the Flow Diagram on Site
The HACCP team should inspect the flow diagram on-site to ensure that it is accurate. When the HACCP plan is incomplete, it’s critical to prepare the necessary adjustments, as well as modify and enhance the strategy.
6. Conduct a Hazard Analysis
When creating a HACCP plan, start with the first principle: do a biological, chemical, and physical hazard analysis for each flow. The first step in a hazard analysis is to identify the various risks; the second is to assess them. Only then will you be able to determine the essential control and prevention actions.
Whenever feasible, keep track of the following:
· The possibility of each hazard and its effects.
· Microorganism growth and survival rates.
· The toxins, chemical compounds, or physical agents may come into contact with food at any point throughout the process.
7. Choosing Critical Control Points
Move on to the second principle: establishing critical control points, (CCPs) once the risks have been recognized and control methods have been established. Establishing critical limits (Principle 3) and monitoring each of the CCPs are also required (principle 4).
· Temperatures, humidity levels, pH levels, and free chlorine levels are just a few of the simple ways to analyze critical points. Use alternative indications, such as time (due dates), or sensory factors, such as visual appearances (e.g. color changes), texture, and flavor, if you can’t take measurements.
· If you can’t execute a preventive measure in one of the flowchart’s phases, you’ll have to design one in the next or prior step.
8. Action Plan: Fix Mistakes on Your Plan
A HACCP strategy, on the other hand, should go much farther. When CCPs are out of control, the team has to know what to do. There should be a system in place for corrective actions, such as prohibiting the batch from reaching the ultimate client, as well as a strategy for determining the root cause of the issue. The HACCP plan is complete in Principle. It’s now time to put everything into action and double-check your maintenance practices. Quality control and product testing, as well as annual equipment maintenance, are necessary. Finally, keep all of this data organized and accessible so that it may be used in future HACCP plan reviews and inspections.