The HACCP system is a scientific system-based method aimed at improving food safety from the raw material production stage through to final consumption, by identifying, assessing and controlling significant hazards.
The HACCP system is a tool designed to assess hazards and establish control systems focused on upstream prevention rather downstream finished product testing.
This system offers other benefits as well as improving food safety, including better use of resources and more appropriate solutions to any problems that arise.
There are two main stages to the HACCP process :
This stage consists primarily of a full description of the products and their manufacture through flowcharts showing the position of each manufacturing stage from reception of raw materials through to dispatch of finished products.
Stages in the 7 principles of an HACCP system :
||Conduct a hazard analysis : this first principle entails identifying and assessing any hazards associated with food production. The hazards may be microbiological, chemical or physical.
||Determine the CCPs : this second principle involves determining the Critical Control Points (CCPs). To do this, we look at each hazard identified in the previous step and use a decision tree and a criticality scoring system to ascertain which items are regarded as CCPs.
||Establish critical limits : the task here is to establish critical limits which must be respected to ensure that the CCPs are under control.
||Monitoring system : this principle consists of setting up a monitoring system to ensure that CCPs are under control by means of tests or programmed observations.
||Corrective actions : this entails establishing the corrective actions to be carried out when the monitoring system detects that a given CCP is not under control.
||Verification procedures : this entails establishing verification procedures, including tests and additional procedures, to confirm that the HACCP system is operating effectively.
||Documentation system : the aim of this principle is to establish a documentation system for all procedures and records appropriate to the 6 principles set out above and their application.