What are the advantages of HACCP? Food regulation and HACCP method

What are the advantages of HACCP?

What are the advantages of HACCP? Every nation needs effective food legislation and food control service to promote a safe, honestly presented food supply, and to protect consumers from contaminated, adulterated, and spoiled foods. Therefore, every country establishes food low to fulfill these achievements. Food law is consisting of food acts and regulations. The food act contains principles or general provisions to be included in food law. They are primarily: basic purposes and scope, definitions of basic concepts, inspection, enforcement, biological and chemical contaminants, packaging and labeling, and procedures for the preparation and amendment of the regulations for the implementation of the law. When the act is approved by the cabinet it becomes a regulation.

Basically, we need regulations to protect consumers, protect the industry, control imports, regulate and control the manufacture, importation, sale, and distribution of food and establish a Food Advisory Committee, etc.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point [HACCP] system is a management tool used to protect the food supply against biological, chemical, and physical hazards. HACCP is not a zero-risk system. Actually, it is designed to minimize the risk of food safety hazards and it is a proactive system, not reactive. HACCP is based on science and risk. It is a process that is followed stepwise. Initially, we can identify hazards and then install preventive measures to eliminate or reduce hazards in foods. These hazards may not be evenly distributed. Therefore, may need to test large quantities & the product need to be destroyed or reworked.

Hazard is a biological, chemical, or physical agent that, in the absence of its regulation, is reasonably likely to cause disease or injury. There are three main hazards; Chemical hazards, Biological hazards, and Physical hazards. Toxins, pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemical adulterants are chemical hazards. Insect, pest, and food spoiling bacteria are biological hazards and glass, wood, plastic or metal piece or stones are examples of physical hazards.

When considering the HACCP method under the topic of “What are the advantages of HACCP?” it is important to know about the history of HACCP.

History of HACCP

  • 1959-1960: NASA wanted to produce food for astronauts to guarantee food safety.
  • 1963: World health organization issued HACCP principles in Codex Alimentarius ((Book of Food”) is a set of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety).
  • 1973: NASA, American Army Laboratory, and Pillsbury Group Company made a common project for astronauts in food production.
  • 1985: USA national science academy suggested that HACCP should be applied in food operations for food safety.
  • 1973: HACCP becomes mandatory for low acid canned food regulations (pH > 4.6).
  • 1997: HACCP becomes mandatory for seafood.
  • 1998: HACCP becomes mandatory for large meat and poultry manufacturers.
  • 1999: HACCP becomes mandatory for small meat and poultry manufacturers.
  • 1999: HACCP becomes mandatory for frozen dessert manufacturers.
  • 2000: HACCP becomes mandatory for very small meat and poultry manufacturers.
  • 2002: The juice HACCP regulation begins to be mandatory for processors, small businesses, and very small businesses.

The HACCP approach should be adopted by all regulatory agencies and that be mandatory for food processors. Not only producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers are also responsible persons for food safety.

When considering “What are the advantages of HACCP?” there are 2 components of the HACCP system. Those are,

  • Pre-requisite program (PRPs)
  • Hazard analysis plan

Pre – requisites program

This is the foundation of a HACCP program. It includes good manufacturing practices (GMP) and addresses food safety at all stages from receiving to shipping including indirect hazards. General pre-requisite programs in the food industry are the layout of premises, workplace & employee facilities, control operation, preventive maintenance, cleaning & Sanitation, personal hygiene, employee Health, transportation, training, supplies of air, water, energy & other utilities, waste & sewage disposal, pest and allergen control, management of purchased materials/supplier quality assurance, and suitability of equipment. When we layout a premise we should consider outside property and building, design, construction and maintenance, the lighting of the premises, employee and sanitary facilities, ventilation, waste disposal, inedible areas, and water sources. In transportation and storage, food carriers are important because those qualities directly influence the food quality and shelf life. We should control temperature properly according to food type. Incoming ingredients, non-food chemicals such as sanitary items, and the finished products should be stored separately. Equipment should be calibrated and maintained properly. Employees should be trained for their job with a good knowledge of food safety. Sanitation should be applied for Equipment and utensils, floors, locker rooms, lunchrooms, and also washrooms. Any pest is not allowed in the workplace. Therefore, we should pay attention to a proper pest control method. Allergens which present in food should be identified by different methods. After identifying them, proper actions should be taken to control them such as special handling, segregate, special sanitation procedures, rework, and proper labeling. Supplier quality assurance is also important in the product chain. We can accomplish it through a vendor approval process, product specifications, and inspect incoming materials. this is the pre-requisites program that we can consider under “What are the advantages of HACCP?”.

Hazard analysis plan

Having a HACCP plant is very advantageous for a food company to manage food safety and sanitation. A good HACCP plan has twelve tasks to achieve an optimized result. It contains five preliminary steps and 7 HACCP principles. The twelve tasks are explained briefly below.

Step 01 – Assemble HACCP team

If a company has a qualified team, the base of the HACCP plan is very successful. Members of the HACCP team should be experts in different areas such as production, shipping, quality assurance, sanitation, maintenance, and sales, etc.

Step 02 – Describe the product

In this step, we should provide a general description of our food such as product name, important product characteristic, how it is to be used, packaging, shelf life, where it will be sold, labelling instruction, special distribution control, and specific ingredients.

Step 03 – Identify intended use

In this step, we consider how the product is intended to be used. To avoid potential abuse, packaging information such as how to use, storage conditions, shelf life, cooked or ready to ready, what to do with leftovers, and quality classification should be provided.

Step 04 – Construct process flow diagram

Here all steps in the manufacturing process are included. It should be indicated where raw materials join the flow, where reworking and recycling take place, where intermediates, by-products, and waste are removed. Flow diagrams sufficiently clear and detailed for potential hazards to be identified. It should include relevant process data like time, temperature, pressure, and flow conditions (liquids, solids, or gases)

Step 05 – On Site verification

The ready flow diagram should be compared with the operation and layout. All team members visit the site to confirm the diagram is complete and valid through all operational periods. They do the verification during different shifts such as night and weekend. The account of deviations from the working process like loops, rework phases, cleaning, breakdown, and delay. And also, necessary adjustments & corrections are done before the next step.

Above are the five preliminary steps that we can consider under the topic of “What are the advantages of HACCP?”.

Principle 01 – Determine hazards

All significant hazards to the product are identified by combining the severity of a potential hazard with its risk.

Principle 02- Determine critical control points

A critical control point means a point/step in the procedure or place where you can prevent, eliminate, or reduce a food safety hazard to an acceptable level. Example; metal detector, temperature and time, cooking, or pasteurization.

Principle 03- Establish critical limits

Critical limits are maximum and/or minimum value to which a biological, chemical or physical parameter must be controlled at a CCP to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level the occurrence of a food safety hazard. Bacterial pathogens are biological hazards that can be commonly found in the food industry. Here we use a pasteurizer as a critical control point. In pasteurization, the critical limit for milk is 1610 C for 15 minutes.

Principle 04 – Establish monitoring procedures

This principle involves conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a CCP is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification. Here we monitor cold-storage temperature, pH of an acidifying ingredient, and line speed.

Principle 05 – Establish corrective actions

This principle tells procedures to be followed when a deviation occurs. Examples; Isolating and holding product for safety evaluation, diverting the affected product or ingredients to another line where deviation would not be considered critical, reprocessing, and destroying product.

Principle 06 -Establish verification procedures

Verification is referred to those activities, other than monitoring, that determine the validity of the HACCP plan and that verify the system is operating according to the plan. During and after the operation an assessment is carried out. The element of verification focused on collecting and evaluating scientific and technical information to determine if the HACCP plan when properly implemented, will effectively control the hazards.

Principle 07 – Establish record-keeping/documentation

There are four kinds of HACCP records. They are the HACCP plan and support documentation used in developing, the plan records of CCP monitoring, records of corrective action, and records of verification activities.

Now you can get a better understanding of a hazard analysis plan by the above facts when considering the topic of “What are the advantages of HACCP?”.

Summary

For an effective food control system, a legal background must be needed. Generally, all countries establish a “food law” to regulate food production, handling, control, and food safety. HACCP system is a management system, which most food companies use to ensure food safety through identifying and controlling hazards that can be happened in food processing, packaging, storage, and transportation. When applying this system food manufacturers use a HACCP plan which consists of five steps and seven principles. Although this method is costly it saves the company money in the long run, protects consumers from poisoning, increases food safety standards, and leads the company to produce safe foods. These are the facts that we can discuss under the topic of “What are the advantages of HACCP?”

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