The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system outlines how organisations participating in the production, distribution and sale of food can reduce the risks associated with their operations.

Specifically, HACCP details how businesses can eliminate the risk of food becoming contaminated or tarnished. It’s known as the one of the most reputable food health and safety programs in the world.

HACCP helps businesses eliminate biological, chemical and tangible food hazards.

However, implementing and maintaining any food safety program isn’t without its challenges. One step involves using instruments to measure food temperatures, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll focus on how food safety programs work and the difficulties practitioners often face.

The purpose of HACCP

When employed properly, HACCP eliminates any biological, chemical and tangible hazards associated with processes inherent in the food industry. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HACCP is based on seven principles:

  • Carrying out hazard analyses
  • Identifying the critical control points (CCPs)
  • Developing essential limits
  • Establishing assessment and monitoring procedures
  • Creating remedial actions
  • Implementing protocols that verify the safety of edible products
  • Maintaining documentation procedures

With these commitments in mind, companies must structure a program capable of iteratively scrutinising the risks associated with their operations. Afterward, businesses should structure a training solution that embeds core concepts into employee operations.

Ensuring employees know how to properly handle food is critical. Ensuring employees know how to properly handle food is critical.

Program development and instruction

The FDA noted that your HACCP plan will depend on the products you handle and any processes associated with those goods. Basically, in order to affirm that edible goods are safe to consume, organisations must understand the distribution, nature and intended use of those products.

Once administrators have thorough knowledge of the hazards associated with their protocols, they can apply corrective measures to reduce those risks. This is where employee participation becomes critical.

As per standards developed by the New South Wales Food Authority (Authority), enterprises must provide staff with clear instructions about how they should perform various tasks without compromising food integrity. This training may include proper cleaning tips, appropriate storage measures and so forth.

63.5 per cent of business owners don’t know enough about HACCP.

Addressing challenges 

According to a study published in Elsevier, one of the key difficulties in implementing HACCP lies in providing knowledge about the system.

After surveying 109 food enterprises over the course of seven months, the researchers found that 63.5 per cent of business owners maintained that a lack of understanding of HACCP prevented them from developing well-rounded safety programs.

Other potential problems lie in human error. For example, although an experienced chef may have an idea of what the proper serving temperature is, only digital food thermometers will be able to confirm this assumption.

Overall, developing stringent data collection efforts and ensuring everyone involved in the program understands its practicalities is essential. The right information can go a long way.