HACCP-Prevention Is Best Part 1Thursday, June 03, 2021
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is one of the most frequently used references regarding food safety and the management of food safety risk. HACCP is a food safety tool that is focused on exactly what the name lays out; analysing hazards for the critical point at which they must be controlled. The prevalence of this tool is linked to how impactful it has been to food safety since the 1960s; to date all food safety standards that have been developed have HACCP as their base.
According to Moraes Raszl et al (2001), HACCP is a preventive system for assuring food safety, applicable to all phases of food production including basic husbandry practices to consumer handling and use. The objectives of HACCP include:
1. Identification of consumer safety hazards that can occur in the production line
2. The establishment of a control process to guarantee a safe product for the consumer
HACCP considers a hazard to be anything that when not controlled has the probability to cause sickness or injury. The categories of these hazards are biological (including microbiological), chemical and physical; as the increasing prevalence of an adverse reaction to food is seen, allergen has been added to hazard categorisation.
HACCP is important because at its root it is based on scientific principles focused on prevention; meaning it prevents, stops or controls the occurrence of hazards. Example: in the cooking of chicken, temperature is a mechanism to control biological/microbiological hazards. This results in a temperature monitoring step with a plan of action of what to do if a problem occurs. Therefore, the problem would be identified and corrected during the cooking process, controlling the hazard. This is a better situation than producing an entire batch of chicken which has to be dumped. The food safety issue that may occur from persons consuming undercooked chicken and unnecessary waste of resources is prevented.
One of the most draining things on the pockets of food business operators is that of unnecessary waste of resources. Consider all the inputs to produce a batch of any food item: ingredients, time, workers' salary, equipment and operating cost, packaging material, etc. Each of these inputs has a cost that is attached; unfortunately a lot of time there are hidden costs that bleed a business if the operator is not smart. Each time a batch of finished or an in-process product is dumped, because of a breach of control, that is a cost to the business.
Maintaining food safety is preventive not reactive. The best preventive approach that a food business operator can use is based on HACCP.
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