HACCP | Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points

What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a preventative and systematic approach to food safety. Its principles are internationally recognised. Under HACCP, preventative controls address biological, chemical and physical hazards associated with food production. HACCP principles can be applied at any point of the food supply chain.

The HACCP Process

Implementing a HACCP-based food safety system first requires that your company implement robust GMPs or pre-requisite programs. Once these programs are documented, trained and implemented, you may develop one or more HACCP plans following the step-by-step HACCP methodology. The number of HACCP plans you will develop and validate are based on the products you manufacture and the complexity of your processes. Food manufacturers that have implemented GMP and HACCP may elect to become HACCP certified. The certification process takes the form of a third-party audit. It is an objective assessment of your food safety system by a respected auditing agency.

How can Sirocco help with HACCP?

Sirocco Consulting will help you successfully achieve HACCP certification by ensuring that your food safety documentation is in place and that your employees are trained and understand their food safety responsibilities. We have a proven track record of timely and successful HACCP and GMP implementations in the food manufacturing industry. Sirocco Consulting will help you develop your food safety procedures (SOPs) and your HACCP plan. We will also prepare you for the certification audit by carefully reviewing your program and ensuring that your procedures have been trained and implemented.

Other HACCP FAQs

What are Good Manufacturing Practices?
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) provide basic operating conditions, minimal hygienic requirements for the production of safe food. GMPs are internationally recognized and originate from Codex Alimentarius guidelines. GMPs form the pre-requisites or foundation of HACCP. You need robust GMPs prior to developing and implementing a HACCP plan.

What is GFSI?
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a non-profit organisation that provides food safety leadership and benchmarks private standards to ensure minimum food safety requirements for the global food industry. The GFSI-benchmarked standards incorporate HACCP principles and best practices in quality management. Standard requirements are designed to meet business objectives such as regulatory compliance, food safety, food security, product quality and continuous improvement.

Food safety legislation is changing in Canada. What are my responsibility as a food importer, producer and exporter?
In Canada, the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and regulations ensure consumer protection by requiring that food sold and marketed in Canada be safe for consumption. The province of British Columbia now requires that food processors have a written food safety plan and sanitation plan. At the federal level, proposed regulations under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) are currently under review. Although HACCP is mandatory in all federally-registered meat and poultry establishments in Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) strongly recommends the use of HACCP principles in all other federally registered establishments. The new Canadian regulations under SFCA expand the application of HACCP to all food sectors for food that is imported, traded across provinces or exported (with a few exceptions).

What is the difference between HACCP compliance and HACCP certification?
A business is HACCP-compliant if it operates according to a recognised HACCP-based standard. The business has developed and implemented a written food safety plan following GMP guidelines and HACCP principles. The facility maintains records to provide proof of compliance but the food safety plan has not been assessed by an independent HACCP auditor. By contrast, a HACCP-certified facility has successfully passed a third-party HACCP audit. The independent audit verifies that the facility operates according to GMP and HACCP principles and includes a review of the company’s HACCP plan and food safety records.

How long does the development of a HACCP plan take?
Implementing HACCP requires commitment and support from management as well as technical knowledge and resources. Implementation timelines may vary depending on business structure, business size, the type of food produced, the number of employees involved in food production. While small businesses may be able to implement HACCP in less than 6 months, larger companies may require one or two years to become HACCP-certified.

What is a paperless HACCP plan? and what is the value of food safety software?
Find out here.

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