HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is an internationally accepted technique for preventing microbiological, chemical and physical contamination along the food supply chain.
The HACCP technique does this by identifying the risks, establishing critical control points, setting critical limits, and ensuring control measures are validated, verified and monitored before implementation.
The effective implementation of HACCP will enhance the ability of companies to: protect and enhance brands and private labels, promote consumer confidence and conform to regulatory and market requirements.
Who can use HACCP? All businesses involved in the food supply chain from producers to retailers can use HACCP. Enterprises include, but are not restricted to, those linked with:
Fruits & Vegetables
Meat & Meat Products
Spices & Condiments
Fish & Fishery Products
Nuts & Nut Products
Bakery & Confectionary
Fast Food Operations etc.
The Codex Alimentarius General Principles of Food Hygiene lay a firm foundation for ensuring effective food control and food hygiene. The General Principles of food hygiene follow the food chain from primary production to the consumer, highlighting the key hygiene controls at each stage. Codex has established HACCP based approach to ensure food safety as a benchmark in the International Food Trade. A Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach is recommended wherever possible to enhance food safety. The HACCP approach is internationally recognized as being effective in ensuring the safety and suitability of food for human consumption and in international trade.
Advantages of HACCP
The HACCP system as it applies to food safety management uses the approach of controlling critical points in food handling to prevent food safety problems. The system which is science based and systematic identifies specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. HACCP is based on prevention and reduces the reliance on end product inspection and testing.
The HACCP system can be applied throughout the food chain from the primary producer to the consumer. Besides enhancing food safety, other benefits of applying HACCP include more effective use of resources, savings to the food industry and more timely response to food safety problems. HACCP enhances the responsibility and degree of control at the level of the food industry. A properly implemented HACCP system leads to greater involvement of food handlers in understanding and ensuring food safety, thus providing them with renewed motivation in their work. Implementing HACCP does not mean undoing quality assurance procedures or good manufacturing practices already established by a company, it does, however, require a revision of these procedures as part of the systematic approach and for their appropriate integration into the HACCP plan.
The application of the HACCP System can aid inspection by food control regulatory authorities and promote international trade by increasing buyer's confidence.
Any HACCP system should be capable of accommodating change, such as advances in equipment design, changes in processing procedures or technological developments.