What is HACCP?
HACCP (the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system) is a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process. HACCP address food safety through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
HACCP is so important because it:
- Prioritizes and controls potential hazards in food production.
- Controlling major food risks, such as microbiological, chemical and physical contaminants
- Provides the framework to produce foods safely and to prove they were produced safely.
- Focuses on prevention and control of potential food safety hazards rather than inspection.
- Covers all types of potential food safety hazards whether they are naturally occurring in the food, contributed by the environment, or generated by a mistake in the manufacturing process. Hazards such as Biological hazards (e.g. bacteria, viruses), Chemical hazards (e.g. pesticide residues, and mycotoxins) and Physical hazards (e.g. metal, glass).
- Various customers in the food chain required their suppliers to have certified HACCP systems.
- Provide businesses with a cost effective system for control of food safety, from ingredients right through to production, storage and distribution to sale and service of the final consumer.
7 principles that serves as the foundation for a HACCP system
- Identification and assessment of hazards associated with food from farm to fork;
- Determination of the critical control points to control any identified hazard; and
- Establishment limits of the critical control points.
- Establish monitoring procedures for critical control points
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish verification procedures
- Establish a record system.
How Can we Use HACCP?
We can implement HACCP-like practices in the home by following proper storage, handling, cooking and cleaning procedures. From the time a consumer purchases meat or poultry from the grocery store to the time they cook and serve a meal, there are many steps to take to ensure food safety. Examples include properly refrigerating meat and poultry, keeping raw meat and poultry separate form cooked and ready-to-eat foods, refrigerating and cooking leftovers to prevent bacterial growth and good hygiene