What is HACCP?
As its name implies, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP); is based on identifying all the potential hazards in the ingredients, packaging and food production processes and taking sufficient measures to prevent and avoid all possible risks of contamination and thus guarantee food safety. The system has been accepted by all food safety schemes, it is the best prevention tool for food safety.
HACCP includes all classes of potential safety hazards: microbiological, chemical, and physical. Hazards can appear in a natural way, by contribution of the environment or be generated by error in the production process. Chemical hazards are most feared by many consumers, however, microbiological hazards are the most serious from a public health point of view. Physical hazards are the easiest to identify by consumers.
Some examples of potential hazards are as follows:
- Physical: Metal fragments, nails, staples, etc.
- Chemicals: Heavy metals, pesticides.
- Microbiological: Pathogenic microorganisms, salmonella, listeria monocytogenes, e. coli etc.
Each product or group of products and it production process has its own HACCP plan.
• Increases consumer confidence in food hygiene.
• Eliminate barriers to international trade.
• Identify the dangers that the safety of the product can have.
• Increases the competitiveness of organizations in the general market.
• Introduces new products and technologies.
• Allows efficient use of resources and cost reduction.
• Promotes compliance with the requirements of legislation and inspection.
• Reduces the appearance of foodborne illness.
• Reduces the need for inspection and analysis of final products.
In addition to the commitment of managers and employees in the development of the HACCP plan, it is necessary that requirements such as good manufacturing practices and standardized sanitary operating procedures are met before implementation.
The sequence of 12 steps developed by the Codex Alimentarius committee sets out all the guidelines and focus that is needed to develop a HACCP plan.
The order of implementation of a HACCP plan consists of:
• Have established the HACCP requirements (First phase)
• Develop preliminary steps
• Development of the 7 principles established by HACCP (Second phase)
1950’s: The theories of quality management were developed by Deming. He developed the Quality Management System (QMS), which is a methodology applied to manufacturing to improve quality and minimize costs.
1959: NASA wanted to adopt a program to guarantee the safety of food consumed by astronauts in space. They hired a company called Pillsbury, who introduced the HACCP system to offer such guarantees.
The system emphasizes the need to control the process from the beginning of the production chain, through operator control and continuous surveillance techniques at critical control points.
1971: Pillsbury introduced the concept of HACCP at the national food protection conference and the 3 basic principles of the system were explained:
• Identify hazards
• Determine critical control points
• Establish monitoring systems
1993: The Codex Alimentarius commission approved the guidelines for the application of the HACCP system.
2005: the ISO 22000 standard was published, which establishes a Food Safety Management System based on ISO 9001 and the HACCP system.
Oscar Ceballos (June 2020)
ENVIRA. (August 21, 2018). ¿Qué es el sistema HACCP? Obtained from https://envira.es/es/que-es-el-sistema-haccp/
GLOBALSTD. (March 1st, 2019). Impotancia de los programas prerrequisitos para implementar un plan haccp. Obtained from https://www.globalstd.com/blog/importancia-de-los-programas-prerrequisitos-para-implementar-un-plan-haccp/
ISOTOOLS. (February 06, 2018). ¿Cuáles son los beneficios que establece HACCP? Obtenido de https://www.isotools.org/2018/02/06/beneficios-haccp/
PAHO. (2015). Justificación e importancia del Sistema HACCP. Obtained from https://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10834:2015-justificacion-e-importancia-del-sistema-haccp&Itemid=41432&lang=es
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