How to make a HACCP plan

How to make a HACCP plan

How to make a HACCP plan

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a system that is recognised internationally, implemented to reduce safety risks in food. HACCP involves the identification and control of potential chemical, biological and physical hazards at specific points in food handling processes. It is advisable that any company dealing in the handling, processing or manufacturing of food products uses HACCP to improve their food safety.

A solid HACCP plan will ensure that there are no hazards that go unnoticed. Below are the steps involved in the development of an effective HACCP plan.

1. Gather an expert team

The first step in a HACCP plan is gathering experts from departments such as engineering, production, sanitation, quality assurance, and food microbiology to create your team.

2. Analysis of the product

At this stage, the HACCP team issues a description of the food; including its ingredients, processing methods, and the distribution information which covers whether it is to be distributed while refrigerated or at ambient temperatures.

3. Identification of the consumers and intended use

At this point, the expected use of the food is described, and the intended consumers are also identified (infants, elderly, or teenagers etc.).

4. Construction of a flow diagram to describe the process

A flow diagram should depict all the steps that the food undergoes during the production process. This stage can also include the steps immediately before and after the processing occurs.

5. Confirmation of the flow diagram on-site

The HACCP team should review the flow diagram on-site to verify that the processes depicted in it are the ones that are actually performed. Any modifications to the flow diagram are made at this point.

6. Conducting a hazard analysis

This stage involves conducting a hazard analysis where all potential hazards for each step are listed and appropriate control measures are suggested.

7. Determination of the critical control points

Critical control points are points at which the team can apply control in order to prevent or eliminate a potential food safety hazard, or reduce it to a level that is acceptable.

8. Establishment of the critical limits for each CCP

Critical limits are the minimum and/or maximum values to which a chemical, physical or biological parameter should be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, reduce or eliminate the occurrence of a food safety hazard.

9. Establishment of a monitoring system for each CCP

Monitoring involves the planning of measurement and observation sequences which are aimed at ensuring the CPP is under control. Monitoring also enables the production of accurate records to be used for future verifications.

10. Establishment of corrective actions

Corrective actions are measures put in place beforehand to prevent any hazardous foods from reaching consumers. They are the last resort when preventative measures fail.

11. Establishment of verification procedures

These are processes which ensure that the HACCP plan is valid and that it is operating according to plan.

12. Establishment of record keeping and documentation

An effective HACCP system should contain records such as a summary of the hazard analysis and the rationale for identifying the control measures.

For a HACCP plan to be effectively implemented, the management and the staff should all be committed to ensuring it is working successfully.