What is HACCP?
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Point. It is a system to promote prevention-based food safety programs. This system tries to identify the various hazards that can possibly affect food drug safety. From the production line of raw materials, to handling and processing, up to distribution and consumption, food safety is monitored through the HACCP management system.
The HACCP management system is intended for use in the whole process of food production. The system is put in place even at the growing stage of food items. The system principles are also applied during harvesting of the raw materials or food items as well as during the manufacture of the food items. The checking continues as these items are released to the market and will be monitored up to the consumer consumption stage.
HACCP has seven basic principles in identifying and controlling hazards that affect food safety. These principles are: 1. Analysis of Possible Food Safety Hazards, 2. Identification of Critical Control Points, 3. Setting up critical limits, 4. Setting up procedures for monitoring, 5. Corrective Measures, 6. Verification, and 7. Mandatory documentation. These principles are put in place to serve as guidelines for every organization under the food industry who wants to implement safety standards.
There are various prerequisites before HACCP can be implemented by a particular organization. First and foremost is the location and facilities of the food establishment. Proper sanitation guidelines must be followed to ensure that food is handled properly. In the case of outsourced food items, one must make sure that suppliers also have reliable food safety checking systems in place. Proper food labeling is also important with all the specifications on ingredients, materials used, and packaging. One must also see to it that cleaning items like chemicals or pesticides are controlled and properly used to avoid food contamination.
Ultimately, the success of any HACCP program depends on the people that handle the food or food item themselves. These people need to have enough training on the sanitation procedures and must be aware of their exact role in preventing hazards to food safety.