The Food Safety Authority of Ireland put it best when they narrowed down the benefits of HACCP to S.A.F.E. F.O.O.D.
Saves your business money
Avoids customer poisoning
Food safety standard improvement
Ensures law compliance
Food quality standard improvements
Organisation of safe food processes
Organisation of staff teamwork and efficiency
Due diligence in court
It doesn’t get more straightforward than that. Your business needs a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) to identify and measure hazards to ensure safe food. Below, we cover many of the benefits associated with having a HACCP, including what it entails and how you can go about getting one for your business.
What is HACCP?
HACCP is an international system that businesses use to identify and manage food safety hazards to ensure food is safe for consumers. One of the best things about HACCP is how it relates to all stages of the food chain and doesn’t leave anything out (or to chance!). From the initial production until the consumer puts it in their shopping trolley, HACCP covers it all.
If you were to break HACCP down into bite-sized pieces, it would end up forming seven international codes of practice from which you cannot deviate. These include:
- Conducting a hazard analysis
- Determining your critical control points (CCPs)
- Establishing the critical limits for your CCPs
- Creating a system to monitor the control of your CCPs
- Establishing a corrective action when monitoring your CCPs determines that one is not under control
- Establishing verification procedures
- Organising documentation for processes and records
You can download a recommended international code of practice from the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
How to Learn About HACCP?
If you are new to your business, or are taking on staff who are not familiar with HACCP, then it’s crucial to bring yourself and your team up to speed. Anyone who has to work under a HACCP programme in the food industry should look at taking, at a minimum, an introductory food HACCP course with an NZQA-recognised private training establishment.
During such a course, you learn all the principles of food safety, the Codex guidelines and their application to HACCP, the New Zealand Food Legislation, seven principles of HACCP, pre-requisite programmes, quality control, critical limits, and food safety hazards.
What are the Benefits of Completing a HACCP Programme?
Your business needs HACCP to be able to comply with national and international standards. More and more, this programme is a requirement as opposed to a guideline. Aside from learning a whole lot of helpful new information, you also gain further insight into what your industry expects of you, and how you can offer customer peace of mind on a global scale.
By being a part of a HACCP programme, you can also understand all the principles of HACCP and how they relate to your job, meet Food Quality and Safety Standards, and understand both international and national food safety issues. If you train with an NZQA-recognised Private Training Establishment, you also get peace of mind that everything you are learning is relevant and crucial to your business.
Applying HACCP to Your Business
You now know that your business needs a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point to provide the safest product possible to consumers, but how do you apply it to your business model?
Identifying hazards would include finding out what biological, physical, and chemical hazards with food ingredients could likely occur and what measures you have in place to control them.
Determine Critical Control Points (CCPs)
This is the process of controlling, preventing, or eliminating a food safety hazard.
Establish a critical limit for Critical Control Points
To relate this to your business, this step is about measuring the critical limit for what is acceptable and what is not.
Establish CCP monitoring requirements
How are you going to monitor your CCPs to make sure they are under control?
Establishing corrective actions
When monitoring shows your CCPs are out of control and a critical limit has been exceeded, you need to have a corrective action to restore control – this includes preventing it from happening again.
Verifying your HACCP is working as intended
Verify in your own business that your HACCP application complies.
Establish record-keeping procedures
In your business, you must maintain, identify, and analyse hazards, CCP, and critical limits in documentation. You should also keep records for tracking your CCP monitoring, corrective actions, and HACCP system verifications.
Your business requires HACCP because it’s a nationally and internationally recognised system that keeps everyone safe. Consumers rely on companies to provide safe products, and following strict processes ensures this should always be the case. If you are not yet familiar with HACCP in your business, then it might be time to join an introductory programme and get the ball rolling.
My name is Theresa Le Roux, I am originally from Montreal, Canada but I have spent the last 5 years in beautiful New Zealand. I write Digital marketing articles for businesses that want a different perspective on subjects that are important to their content output. I regularly contribute articles to Clickthrough.co.nz. I am a diehard Game of Thrones fan with a passion for novels and live music! My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own. Connect me via email firstname.lastname@example.org.