HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a systematic approach specifically designed for food safety that helps to prevent food contamination from biological, physical, chemical, and allergen means through the use of scientific analysis and principles. HACCP is recognized as a benchmark system worldwide in ensuring food safety and serves as a legal requirement for food industry in a lot of developed countries.
HACCP is implemented at all stages of food production starting from raw material production, procurement and handling to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished goods.
Due to different types of hazards that exist along the flow of production such as bacteria, viruses, insects, toxins, parasites, allergens, pesticides, drug residues, decompositions, unapproved colour additives, chemical contaminants from equipment, radioactive compounds, glass, stone, bone, plastic,wood and similar objects, specified HACCP systems or equivalents should be planned and tailored to different product, processing and distribution conditions. However, one thing to note is that such system is heavily dependent on the site’s facilities, available equipment and good practice so as to keep the analysis and resulting control methods manageable.
So what’s the big deal of implementing HACCP and getting the HACCP certificate? Well FDA has listed several advantages for your business if you apply HACCP just as below:
reduction in product loss;
increase in product quality;
better control of product inventory;
consistency in product preparation;
increase in profit; and
increase in employee awareness and participation in food safety
HACCP is flexible in terms of its application in different types and size of business. Here we shall dive in specifically on Malaysian business application. Our country has devised the Malaysia Certification Scheme for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system to provide a uniform certification scheme for HACCP system in food industries. The particular scheme consists of certification as well as surveillance activities of the HACCP system and formally recognized and approved food premises that have implemented the HACCP system effectively.
Hence with such scheme being implemented, the Ministry of Health (MOH) hopes to encourage the implementation of HACCP system in food industries in line with global trends in food safety while ensuring the quality of the food people consume is assured.
1. Conduct a hazard analysis
- Possible types of hazards occurring in the production, processing, manufacturing and distribution of food are listed. These hazards are being assessed on the occurrence likelihood and its effects severity on health.
2. Identify critical control points (CCPs)
- The critical stages of the steps in food processing are identified that might affect food safety.
3. Establish critical limits for CCPs
- Measurable limits are being defined and validated for each control points to set a boundary for acceptable safety. Examples of the parameters under inspections are temperature, moisture level and pH.
4. Establish monitoring procedures
- Scheduled inspection and systematic monitoring are established to ensure all the limits are under control and within safety measures.
5. Establish corrective actions
- Effective corrective actions needed to be planned out and tested for its effectiveness.
6. Establish verification procedures
- Verification process ensures the corrective actions are being planned out with effect.
7. Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures
- All data and results are being recorded down to set an effective HACCP system and documented to show that the system is active and effective.