“Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points”.
It is basically a preventive approach to food safety which is used to find and then eliminate the biological, chemical and physical hazards which may or may not be there in production processes and can cause the final products to be unsafe and unhealthy for human consumption. These are certain principles which have been designed by the government to ensure the food quality and safety. It is a various step process that is followed in any food industry.
The HACCP system is followed at each and every level of food chain i.e. in food production and preparation processes which also includes packaging, distribution and even consumption by the consumer. It is therefore known as FARM-TO-TABLE process.
This technique was originated by NASA in the 1960s and US food and drug administration gave a particular definition to this. The main objectives of the HACCP system are –
• Prevention of food-borne diseases so that no one is affected after the consumption of food.
• This system mainly focuses on quality assurance unit i.e. maintains the quality of the food.
• HACCP system tends to reduce the cost of analysis of food.
• It also reduces the losses which occur due to product recall.
• And finally it helps in protecting the reputation of government.

Conducting a HACCP plan is a 5 step process as mentioned below –

  1. Collection of HACCP resources and assembling of HACCP team which will look into the all steps.
  2. Description of the product by the team and deciding its method of distribution.
  3. Developing a complete list of ingredients and raw materials which are to be used in the production of the final product.
  4. Developing a flow diagram of the process i.e. how the product will be manufactured, its complete process.
  5. Meeting the requirements for the product to be manufactured safely.

There are 7 main principles of conducting successfully a HACCP plan.

  1. To conduct a hazard analysis is the first step in which all the potential physical, chemical as well as biological hazards in the production of the product are identified.
  2. To determine all the critical control points (CCPs). At this step, all the control measures are thought to be applied. Basically at this step, those points are identified where control measures can be applied for the safety. This step is very essential to eliminate hazards completely from the product.
  3. To establish critical limits is the next step i.e. in this step the control measures are actually applied and also the maximum and minimum limits are set for the preventive measures. To each point found in the last step, a critical limit is applied. These limits assure the food safety.
  4. To establish monitoring procedures is the next step in which all the planning which was done yet is monitored and it should be done on a regular basis. This step assures that there is no mishandling of any procedure of the complete plan.
  5. To establish corrective actions is the next step in which appropriate correct actions are taken if after monitoring it is observed that the critical limits are not met. The corrective actions for each point and limit are already pre-decided.
  6. To establish verification procedures is the next and most important step in which the complete HACCP plan is validated. The complete verification of the plan is required to assure that the precautions and preventions are taken carefully.
  7. To maintain record keeping and documentation procedures is the final step in which the record is maintained and established which must be done regularly. It is necessary for validation procedures.