Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Is HACCP only Applicable to Professionals


What is HACCP
HACCP means, the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points.
It is a system designed to improve manufacturing standards in food safety, hygiene and traceability. HACCP is a system of prevention and not meant to check on finished products. We can actually split the abbreviation HACCP into half.
Hazard Analysis means, to analyze what the hazards are, and Critical Control Points means, identifying where the hazards occur and take preventive measures to avoid future occurrences.

Practicing HACCP in food manufacturing
Practicing HACCP involves an extensive flow of paper work, starting at the very beginning of the manufacturing process until the product is ready for packing. HACCP is designed to detect shortcomings in the manufacturing process that may have been practiced without the knowledge of the manufacturer.
Practice is, every single step an ingredient goes through during manufacturing is recorded and must be accounted for. If during HACCP inspection by external inspectors the manufacturer fails to explain the absence of record of one of the steps, that step becomes a critical control point to be rectified.

Required steps to follow                           

An easier understanding is made with a practical example. 

Let’s say you manufacture tomato sauce and you use canned tomatoes as an ingredient. You are not responsible for the manufacturing of the tomatoes but you are responsible for the purchases you make buying cans of tomatoes from a by you chosen trusted supplier. Your HACCP record must therefore show:

1. Brand and supplier of the tomatoes

2. Delivery date

3. The date when you used the tomatoes (if not the total delivery, then how much of it)

4. In which production batch you used the tomatoes and when (a batch number must show that)

5. What you made with the tomatoes (in this example tomato sauce)

6. Identification of packing (retail or direct end user e.g. restaurant)

7. Where the batch went to and when (your customer)

Every step of the procedure has a form and personnel responsible have to record the required information on the forms. every form has again a number of details that needs recording. From your storekeeper until customer service that received the order of purchase.


The whole objective is to make a product traceable with this paperwork and for an external auditor to be able, provided all parties involved follow the HACCP system, to actually quickly find the source of an unwanted occurrence. 
This means that when a person becomes ill from eating a pizza in a restaurant with your tomato sauce on it, the source and when and how this happened can quickly be found to curb the possible recurrences of the mishap.
Many, often too many steps in the food supply chain are not traceable. HACCP makes food production safer and with that more people are getting a better understanding of good manufacturing practices.
In part two of this subject I have a look as to how we can apply HACCP in home cooking and the function of a vacuum sealer in the HACCP process.  

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn


Annie Peters said...

Very interesting! I really appreciate your approach to using HACCP principles in home cooking. My husband has worked in factory food production for 15 years, so I am somewhat familiar with the record keeping process of mass food production. When each step is validated, it's much easier to identify the source of any contamination. Likewise, the process needs to be just as streamlined at home. I'm looking forward to learning more about how I can do this in my own kitchen.

Thanks for sharing this series of articles, Marinus. Vacuum sealing is such a great budget saver for big families like mine, but as always, safety comes first.

Marinus said...

With your husband having worked in food processing you will understand that people will not follow the extensive paperwork at home.
Following the principals is however a good thing to do. So is the understanding where contamination may come from. As you said safety first

Andrea Robinson said...

It is very reassuring to know that food handlers from farm to restaurant are using this process to ensure fresh and safe food handling. We want our dining experiences to be safe and fun and HACCP reduces any risk of food poisoning greatly. It sounds like this process actually creates teamwork among all the various people who handle the food. I'm looking forward to reading Part II and I'm wondering how people will use these practices at home.

Rebecca said...

Great post! It explains HACCP in a way that makes it easier to understand the required record-keeping in food manufacturing. It’s especially important in cases of food recalls. They can find out what went wrong and try to prevent it from happening again. I know they follow this protocol in dog food manufacturing. I regularly keep track of that. They’ll announce the contaminated product and ingredient, UPC number, date code, etc. It’s amazing how they can trace it back so quickly to the exact origin.

Mandy said...

I agree with Andrea in that I feel very reassured by this post. I never knew the details of the food safety processes. I've been learning a lot by reading this blog, and I'm glad I happened to find it. :)

Dean said...

Hi, Marinus! In your opinion, how might HACCP be used when vacuum sealing food in a personal, at home setting?