Precepts of the HACCP Plan

Food and Beverages | Thursday, June 02, 2022

Food and beverage institutions are needed to produce safe products for customers.

HACCP refers to a food safety management system applied by food and beverage companies.

Since HACCP is a globally famous management system, the standards are comparable worldwide. Therefore, HACCP certification can support businesses in growing their customer base. It also permits food and beverage companies to meet regulatory requirements and improve product quality and safety.

A HACCP plan's overarching goal is to remove potential hazards, like contaminants that are—microbiological, physical, and chemical.

Proactively dealing with these risks can enhance public safety. As per the HACCP Alliance, microbiological hazards comprise the following:

•  E. coli

• Listeria

• Salmonella

• Campylobacter

• Clostridium botulinum

The HACCP Principles

Based on the FDA, a HACCP plan must include the following seven steps:

1. Conduct a risk assessment

Food and beverage manufacturers must describe the detailed steps involved in their processes and recognize areas prone to significant hazards. An effective HACCP plan can identify risks and eliminate them. The plan should also justify including or excluding specific threats from the HACCP program.

2. Identify Control Points of Criticality (CCPs)

CCPs (Critical control points) are locations, steps, or procedures where controls are applied to prevent the occurrence of a specific food safety hazard. For example, CCPs may incorporate the following:

• Cooking/cooling to a particular temperature

• detection of metals

• Packaging

3. Define Critical Boundaries

Critical limits (CLs) are the small or large values that must be controlled to eliminate or reduce a hazard. Generally, CLs are measured in time, temperature, or weight. They may also include extra parameters defined by regulatory standards.

4. Establish Procedures for Monitoring

HACCP plans must involve procedures for monitoring CLs at required CCPs. Also, the plan must include specifics about how the measurement will be performed, such as who will record the data and when.

5. Initiate Corrective Action

When a divergence occurs in a CL, one must take corrective action to remove it. Disciplinary actions should identify the issue and source and the corrective measures to avoid recurring problems. Immediate corrective actions address current problems, whereas preventive and disciplinary actions reduce future risks. Instant corrective action is discarding contaminated food, while the preventative measure is having a piece of equipment repaired.

6. Establish Procedures for Verification

To guarantee that the HACCP plan is valid and effective, verification activities must be established. All the instances are auditing steps. Still, the CCPs, conduct records reviews, finish testing, measure the following preventive products, and calibrate instruments as necessary.

7. Establish procedures for record-keeping and documentation

A HACCP plan's record-keeping is critical. Records must include all pertinent information regarding the plan for easy reference by employees, but they must also show that food is produced safely and after current regulations. Hazard analyses, CCPs, CLs, record-keeping procedures, a monitoring system, corrective actions, and verification activities should be involved in the facility's HACCP records.

Each food and processing system needs its own HACCP plan, as each poses a specific risk that must be addressed.

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