In the production, treatment or processing, transport, storage or sale of foodstuffs, it is necessary to control or eliminate all the influences that are expected to pose a potential threat to consumers in relation to the food produced (Article 5 of Chapter II of the Regulation (EC)). 852/2004)
Therefore, companies in the food chain have to carry out their own sustainable checks. A HACCP concept for the prevention of health hazards is used for this control system.
The application of a HACCP concept requires expertise in the following areas:
- Food chemistry and microbiology
- Toxicology and epidemiology
- if necessary veterinary expertise
- if necessary, chemical thermal process engineering
- quality management
When integrating the HACCP concept into a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001: 2015, process owners are advised to always make the elements of the management documentation that are relevant for recurrent official monitoring or audits available to them so that they can be chronologically mapped during an inspection.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
A HACCP concept is not a tool for implementing general hygiene measures. It is a systematic procedure that serves to identify, assess and control health hazards caused by food or feed.
With the assessment of hazards, all necessary preventive measures must be defined in which the identified hazards can be avoided, eliminated or at least reduced to an acceptable level before or during a manufacturing process.
Common misunderstandings in a HACCP concept arise from the incorrect translation of the terms.
Hazard is often translated incorrectly as risk and control is often translated incorrectly as a control and CCP as a checkpoint on a hygiene checklist.
The terms CCP, as an abbreviation of the English term "Critical Control Point", as well as the term HACCP, should not be translated as an internationally accepted term practicable. Control is from the English as "regulation" to translate, not as supervision (like a controler at the game console). At a control point, something can be fixed, at a critical control point something sensitive can be fixed. If a certain specification runs out of a defined range, certain measures must be taken beforehand, usally defined regulations are carried out.
The HACCP principles are the basis for drawing up a HACCP plan. Altogether there are seven principles:
A hazard analysis must be carried out. Identify the potential health-related hazards at all stages of food production in order to assess the risks and identify possible control measures (hazard analysis).
It is the critical control points (CCPs) of all stages of treatment and process that the dangers threaten to detect.A "stage" is every stage of food production and processing, including receiving, storing, transporting and assembling
One or more critical limits must be set, compliance of which ensures that the CCP is under control. This can z. As temperature and time conditions, cleaning and disinfectant concentrations or exposure times.
A monitoring system of the CCPs has to be defined in order to control the critical points. As parameters for monitoring z. B. physical parameters such as temperature values and pH values. In each case, it is necessary to determine who has to carry out the check and how often this should be documented
A corrective action plan (CAP) is to be defined, which defines measures to be taken when the monitoring indicates that a particular CCP is no longer within its defined range or even beyond control. These measures must be proactive and must be available, known and practiced in the form of instructions. Responsibilities and responsibilities must be explicitly defined.
The verification procedures are to be established to verify that the HACCP system is working successfully. These measures are intended to be confirmatory rather than monitoring (e.g., internal audit)
A documentation should be introduced that takes into account all processes and records according to the principles and their application. This means that both the manufacturing process itself (eg, through process diagrams) and instructions (e.g., measuring or cleaning steps) and records (eg, checklists) are recorded. The type and extent of documentation depends on the industry and the size of the organization
The HACCP concept is part of a self-regulatory system of an organization. The implementation is therefore the sole responsibility of the top management. The application of the HACCP concept may be required by law (eg EC Regulation 1069: 2009) or in other cases as an end in itself.
QHSE Management Division Europe