HACCP-based food safety management systems are used to simplify compliance for food safety
With growing variations of pathogens and emerging concerns about microplastics and other toxins in the food we consume, countries worldwide are focusing on absolute food safety.
A set of standardized procedures to protect food from biological, chemical, and physical hazards is called a food safety system. There are multiple food safety management systems (FSMSs) available for producers to make a choice. The HACCP-based food safety management systems are one of the most common and effective systems employed by prominent food producers worldwide, such as in the UK, the US, and Russia.
Certainty about hygiene and extensive testing to guarantee quality food production is now a greater need than ever.
What is a HACCP-based food safety system?
HACCP, which stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, was adopted as a universal food safety measure in 1960 after first being used by NASA to certify food quality in space.
From raw materials to production, obtainment, and food handling, HACCP-based food safety management systems are used to achieve total food safety throughout each stage of food processing. The HACCP-based food safety systems are used to not only outlines areas in the food manufacturing process that require localized attention but also highlight proactive measures required to avoid any possibilities of hazards in the first place.
HACCP-based food safety management system works on three fundamental principles: Analysis, Control, and Re-examination. The stringent implementation of the HACCP-based food safety management systems is used to assure consumers that the morsel they put in their mouth has been guarded against contamination at all levels and carefully analyzed to guarantee quality produce. HACCP-based food safety management systems are based on the key components of Food Safety Compliance
Seven critical steps of a HACCP-based food safety management system:
HACCP-based food safety management systems are used to secure food safety and to achieve global standards for food quality. Following is a HACCP-based food safety management template. These are simple steps that food producers can follow to progress in complying with HACCP standards of food safety.
- Hazard Analysis: The first step is to carefully examine the entire manufacturing process and assess potential threats or hazards that can harm the food biologically, chemically, or physically. Prominent risks such as the growth of bacteria or fungi, heat, leaks, and human contact risks, among others, will be evaluated. Elimination strategies and control methods for each potential risk need to be planned out. You can read more about the “Ultimate guide for Food Businesses to address safety hazards” on Folio3’s informative and engaging platform.
- Recognize Critical control points: A stage in the manufacturing process qualifies as a critical control point when a threat or hazard of that stage cannot be controlled later in the process and needs time-dependent attention. The producer must identify these points in the individual approach for his production and mark them for imminent care.
- Define limits: Based on Scientific research or regulatory standards, certain variables such as temperature, pH levels, and humidity, among others, need to be defined according to the optimal functioning requirement. The producer should set rigid limits for all such variables, and it is ideal to have alarm systems sound off when a defined regulatory boundary is crossed or not achieved.
- Close Monitoring: Assessment of all critical points for achievement of required standards is pivotal to a HACCP-based food safety management system. With technical tools such as food thermometers and pH meters, one has to ensure that all critical limits are being met. It is only crucial to verify that corrective measures are adopted if any critical point is faced with a risk.
- Restorative actions: The analysis-informed procedures defined in the first step of a HACCP-based food safety management system come into play to provide practical solutions and corrective methods when any critical limit is crossed.
- Verification of the process: All segments of the production process must be checked for efficiency. Are the safety goals being met? Are procedures running smoothly, and are they being recorded in real time? These are some of the questions the producers need to ask when establishing the sixth step of a HACCP-based food safety management system.
- Data Management: The producer’s adherence to HACCP-defined standards, the food safety plan, and the implementation procedures for this plan should be extensively recorded to track compliance and progression.
Benefits of adopting a HACCP-based food safety management system:
Apart from the guarantee of food safety and an understanding of what is Food Safety Management System and its importance, there are multiple benefits of adapting to a HACCP-based food safety management system:
Customer and consumer satisfaction:
HACCP adhering companies, be they harvesters, manufacturers, or retail companies, are reliable due to the achievement of food quality standards in each segment of food handling. Customers such as restaurants trust HACCP-adhering manufacturers for processed foods, and consumers feel confident buying from such food suppliers.
Better control of the production processes:
Close monitoring and stage-by-stage analysis assist producers in having improved control down to the micro-level procedures. Better control translates into efficient production processes.
Cost-efficiency and savings:
The producer saves many expenses when potential risks and losses are proactively assessed and avoided. Costs spent reworking and salvaging harmed food substances are protected when hazards are cleared early on. Digital solutions such as Food Safety Software are optimal for growth and seamless workflow while you ensure practical implementations of your Food Safety plan.
Stay prepared for audits:
Extensive record-keeping of the food safety plan employed and its application and calculated efficiency of the program assists in inspections and audits to run smoothly.
A Tool to align with other management systems:
The HACCP-based food safety management system follows other essential safety systems such as the International Standard Operations 22000 (ISO 22000). The producer is enabled to comply with global food safety standards and get certified to deliver quality.
HACCP-based food safety management systems as a legal requirement:
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) or Food code is a set of standard practices and safety procedures formulated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO). This authorizing body obligates all countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to adopt Food Safety Management systems (FSMSs) such as the HACCP-based food safety management systems.
Food processing bodies, raw material providers, manufacturers, and packaging companies, among other food handling companies, are legally required to adhere to HACCP-based food safety management systems in numerous WTO countries worldwide.
Some examples are the UK, where the government website highlights the legal requirement to employ HACCP-based food safety management systems. Russia, Canada, the US, India, and Ireland are among some of the more stringent countries in guaranteeing food safety for their citizens.
What are the benefits of the HACCP-based food safety management system?
Among many benefits of such a food safety management system is the attainment of customer and consumer confidence, a specialized focus and increased control of the production process, ease in audits, and maintenance of secure market access is achieved.
Does the HACCP-based food safety management system in agreement with ISO 22000?
The critical elements of HACCP-based food safety management systems align with the latest ISO 22000. They are part of an integrated approach to coordinated efforts in global food security.
What is the difference between a food safety management system and a HACCP plan?
A food safety management system is a holistic approach that gives organized attention to every stage, whether critical or not. A HACCP plan merely recognizes processes’ Critical Control Points (CCPs).
What are the eight programs that a food safety management system should cover?
- Personal hygiene program
- Food safety training program
- Supplier selection and specification program
- Quality control and assurance program
- Cleaning and sanitation program
- Standard operating procedures (sops)
- Facility design and equipment maintenance program
- Pest control program