Topic 4.6: Food Safety System

There are various food safety systems and management approaches that help ensure the safety of the food supply. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is one of the most well-known and often used systems. Throughout the food manufacturing process, hazards are identified, assessed, and controlled using the HACCP system.

HACCP involves the application of seven principles:

Perform a hazard analysis to determine and evaluate any potential risks related to each stage of the food manufacturing process. Pathogens, poisons, and foreign objects are examples of biological, chemical, and physical risks.

Create Critical Limits: Create standards or boundaries that must be reached in order to guarantee control at each CCP that has been identified. Temperature, duration, pH level, or any other measurable factor that is essential to hazard control could be included in these limitations.

Identification of critical control points (CCPs): Identification of points in the production process where controls can be applied to prevent, eliminate or reduce hazards to acceptable levels. CCPs are specific steps or procedures that are critical to food safety.

Monitoring CCPs: Make sure the critical control points are operating within the predetermined limits by routinely measuring and observing them. By monitoring, possible threats and deviations can be found.

Create procedures to be followed when monitoring shows that a CCP is not under control to establish corrective actions. Corrective measures are intended to find the source of the deviation, deal with it appropriately, and stop the release of contaminated food.

Establish methods to ensure that the HACCP system is functioning properly. Verification entails inspecting documents, carrying out routine audits, and testing samples to determine if they adhere to the specified criteria.

Keep accurate records of all aspects of the HACCP system, such as hazard assessments, CCPs, critical limits, monitoring results, corrective actions and verification activities. Documentation helps demonstrate compliance with food safety requirements and facilitates traceability.

Hazards and CCPs

HACCP addresses various types of hazards that can compromise food safety. For example:

  1. Food pathogens – microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and others that can lead to foodborne diseases (Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, and Listeria monocytogenes).
  2. Physical dangers – foreign substances like glass, metal shards, stones, or other substances that can contaminate food.
  3. Chemical hazards – dangerous compounds, such as pesticides, heavy metals, cleaning products, and food additives, that can contaminate food.
  4. Food sensitivities and allergens – substances that, in certain people, might result in unfavorable reactions. Examples include lactose intolerance or allergies to components like peanuts, shellfish, or gluten.
  5. Cross-Contamination: The transfer of harmful microorganisms or allergens from one surface or food product to another, leading to contamination. Inadequate handling, poor cleaning and sanitation, or using shared equipment can all lead to cross-contamination.