(Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point)

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point – Food Safety Management System

This is a food safety program that was developed some 30 years ago for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to ensure the safety of food products that were to be used by the astronauts in the space program.

Traditionally, industry and regulators have depended on spot-checks of manufacturing conditions and random sampling of final products to ensure safe food. Such an approach, however, tends to be reactive, rather than preventive, and can be less efficient than a system that focuses on preventing hazards, by applying scientific controls from raw material to finished products.

HACCP is a food safety management system that enables food processing and catering industries to introduce and maintain a cost effective, ongoing and safety programme. HACCP involves the systematic assessment of all the main steps involved in a food manufacturing operation and the identification of those steps that are critical to the safety of the product.

HACCP is comprised of seven principles:

  • Analyze hazards
    Potential hazards associated with a food and the measures required to control those hazards are identified and include biological, chemical and physical contaminants.
  • Identify critical control points
    These are points in a food’s production at which potential hazards can be controlled or eliminated.
  • Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point
    These are minimum standards required for the safe preparation of food.
  • Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points
    Such procedures include determining how and by whom processing standards are to be monitored.
  • Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring has shown that a critical limit has not been met
    Either reprocessing or disposal of foods if minimum processing standards has not been met.
  • Establish procedures to verify that the system is working properly
    Testing and calibrating equipment to ensure its proper functioning is but one typical requirement.
  • Establish effective record keeping in order to document the HACCP system
    This would include records of hazards and their control methods, monitoring of safety requirements and corrective actions taken to either prevent problems or how non-conformances are to be prevented from recurring.

In general, food safety is important for three main reasons. They are:

  • Good food hygiene (which, remember does not mean ‘cleanliness’), can prevent food consumers from becoming infected with various food-borne diseases, many of which can be fatal.
  • Good food hygiene protects the food consumer; mere ‘cleanliness’ never does
  • Correct food hygiene design and practice can protect both a business and individual food handlers from possible prosecution
  • Good standards of food safety (not just ‘cleanliness’) can enhance and protect the reputation of a business which can lead to increased profits and increased job security

HACCP is relevant to all sectors of the food industry, including primary producers, manufacturers, processors and food service operators who want to demonstrate their compliance with national or international food legislation requirements.

When you choose SABS Commercial as your certification body, you are also selecting our national and international reputation for independence, integrity and innovation.

As one of the world leading certification bodies, our clients range from small, medium and large. SABS Commercial will offer you real value to your business. Our commitment to you does not end with a certificate, as a registered client you will be able to discuss your needs with us at all times.