BBC Cardiff


HACCP consultancy – Hazard Analysis and critical control point (HACCP)

HACCP is a method of managing food safety hazards. Procedures in food safety management are based on HACCP principles.

It is essential to have food safety management procedures that are relevant for your business, the principles are the same, but the procedures must fit your business.

Shine can help your understanding of HACCP by providing training and help in achieving a better and safer business. In doing this we take a closer look at what you do, examining what can go wrong and what risks there are to food safety. We help with the identification of any critical control points within your company and focus on these to ensure the risks are removed or reduced to safer levels. We can give assistance in ensuring your procedures are being followed and are working and advise what actions you will need to take should something go wrong. Most importantly HACCP is about record keeping. This will demonstrate your procedures are working and highlight any non-conformities that will need to be addressed to ensure food safety.

Implementing a HACCP system isn’t as difficult as it sounds if the basic HACCP principles are followed:

1.Conduct a Hazard Analysis

This is where processes are evaluated, and hazards are identified. Hazards can be physical (i.e. metal contamination), chemical (i.e. can a cleaning product contaminate the product, are there toxins that could contaminate the product?) or biological (at what points could bacteria or virus contaminate your product?). The hazard identification is done in two steps, first the identification of hazards, then an evaluation of the hazard. The hazard evaluation is a determination of the degree of risk to the user from the identified hazard. Once the hazard is identified and evaluated the critical control points must be ascertained. These are the points where the hazard must be controlled, or it will present a risk to the end user.

2.Identify the Critical Control Points

At what steps in your process can controls be applied to prevent or eliminate the hazards? These are your critical control points. For each critical control point you will identify the preventive measure. How will you prevent the hazard? Use of specific Temperature, time, procedures? 

3.Establish a maximum or minimum limit

For temperature, time, or other processing characteristics that will control the hazard. This is the critical limit for the critical control points. If this limit is ever exceeded corrective action must be taken, and all affected product controlled.

4.Establishing Critical Limits

Establish criteria for each critical control point. What criteria must be met to control the hazard at that point? Is it a minimum temperature? Are there regulatory limits that you must meet for this control point?

5.Establish Monitoring Procedures

What you measure and how you will measure it will need to be established, monitoring the process at the critical control point and keep records to show that the critical limits have been met. You will need to continuously monitor the control points and detail the measurements needed to be performed to demonstrate that the process is under control.

The monitoring that takes place at the critical control points is essential to the effectiveness of the HACCP program. The monitoring program will be made up of physical measurement or observations that can be done in a timely manner, to provide the information in a time frame that allows you to act and control a product if an out of control situation occurs.

6.Establish Corrective Actions

You will need to establish what actions need to be taken if a critical limit is not met. This will be identified ahead of time for each critical control point. The action must make sure that no unsafe product is released. There must also be an evaluation of the process to determine the cause of the problem, the actions taken have two purposes, to control any nonconforming product resulting from the loss of a control, and to identify the cause, eliminate it and prevent the situation from reoccurring. By identifying the corrective action before an out of control situation occurs, you are more likely to act quickly if and when it does occur.

7.Establish Record Keeping Procedures

You will need to determine what records are required to show that the critical limits have been met, and the system is in control. Address regulatory requirements and include records from the development of the system and the operation HACCP.

8.Establish Auditing Procedures

The HACCP plan must be audited. Once the plan is in place, make sure it is effective in preventing the hazards identified. Test the product, test the procedures, verify that the controls are working as planned. Perform ongoing auditing of the system. What are corrective actions showing? Are records being maintained as required? Are measuring and monitoring equipment in control? With the results from these you will ensure the system is working, with any non-conformities raised from the audit can be modified to ensure the procedure will work.

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