HACCP Compliance

What is HACCP Compliance and How to Achieve It?

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The HACCP compliances refer to the adherence and the completion of the requirements of initiating a HACCP plan to ensure food safety.

The conventional method of developing a HACCP plan requires several hours of construction and planning for the food business, be it industries, farms, retailers, or restaurants, which allow the business to comply with the food laws and ensure that they fall under all HACCP compliances regulations.

The HACCP compliances require the handlers of food to develop and implement a HACCP plan that can address all of the risks and potential hazards in the food business to ensure food safety for the end consumers. All the food businesses must take into account the food safety hazards which will be present as risks.

It is difficult to achieve 100% food safety however, businesses should understand that the plans can help increase food safety by using preventive methods and also providing corrective measures in case something goes wrong. One of the most popular and effective programs in this food industry is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point.

What is a Food Safety Plan, and How Do HACCP Compliances Help?

A food safety plan is a systematic approach that is followed to prevent the risk of any potential hazards that can cause a serious foodborne illness for public consumption by producing and handling food safely.

The HACCP compliances include the drafting, planning, and revising of the operations in the food business to ensure that all food safety regulations and laws are met.

When businesses are compliant with the standards, these save the food companies from food safety issues. Over 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses occur in the USA each year, and more than half are linked to food establishments in one way or another.

The violations of food safety can cause temporary or permanent business closures, alongside hefty fines and lawsuits.  The presence of health hazards can cause the customer and food business to destroy their connections. These issues also impact the brand image detrimentally.

When companies follow HACCP compliances, it opens several doors for these companies for the international trade association, better reputations, and happy and loyal customers. Several modern companies make use of HACCP software that helps them meet their food safety goals.

Read More: Key Components of Food Safety Compliance

What Does it Mean to Follow a HACCP Compliances Plan?

The following of the HACCP compliances plan for businesses means that the food businesses’ productions, processing, storage, distribution, and receiving of the food business are safe with proper sanitary conditions.

Some examples of these operations include the complete cooking temperature for thermal processes, the analysis of the storage requirements, ensuring safe temperature maintenance in delivery, the complete assessment of the equipment, accurate and precise documentation, and cleaning of the food contact materials.

What Do These HACCP Compliances Aim to Achieve?

The food businesses in countries such as the UK and the USA require a business to establish a complete HACCP system or have risk-based preventive control systems that are in accordance with the principles of HACCP as international standards. The aim of these compliances is to perform an accurate hazard identification that can make food unsafe.

These also aim to analyze the food safety hazards critically to create an effective prevention strategy. These keep the public safe from foodborne illnesses.

There are 7 principles that are established by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). These principles were later on adopted across the world in the 1990s.

What is HACCP Certified?

The HACCP certification is an evidence-based approach that can be beneficial for the business when subject to inspection by the food regulatory authorities, and stakeholders.

These demonstrate to the customers the commitment of the company to ensure safe food trading and production. These transform the business as an effective marketing tool and also open up business opportunities across the globe.

The HACCP certification is an act where international requirements are followed to control food safety. Companies that possess HACCP certifications are called HACCP certified. The basis for the seven principles are:

  1. The determination of the critical control points.
  2. The establishment of control limits such as minimum cooking time and cooking temperature.
  3. The conduction of a Hazard Analysis for the chemical, biological, or physical food hazards.
  4. Establishment of corrective actions.
  5. The establishment of record keeping and documentation which if followed by HACCP software make it better for the company and the authorities.
  6. The establishment of procedures for verification that confirm the HACCP system works effectively.
  7. And the establishment of a system that can monitor the critical control points.

Also Read: What Could Be an Example of Processes That Food Inspections Tend to Focus on?

The Contents of A HACCP Compliance Checklist

For a business to become HACCP compliant, it needs to be involved in multiple steps that have to be fulfilled to ensure the safety of the food.

These steps include the programs that are prerequisites, preliminary steps to devise a HACCP plan, and then establishing all 7 principles of HACCP.

The verification tasks help to trace the progress of the team. Below are major points that need to be fulfilled for the HACCP compliances checklist:

The Preliminary Tasks:

The prerequisite programs include the systems such as good practices in food manufacturing, the sanitation standards, hygiene requirements, the operating procedures, and the mentioned 5 steps for HACCP plan creation.

  • The creation of a HACCP team. This will lead to the plan devising procedures for the business. The members must come from different departments of the food business to take into consideration all of the processes.
  • The complete and proper description of the finished products and their courses for distribution. These will include complete data about how and the conditions for the products in which they will be distributed and the nature of the products as well which including their storage conditions, cooking processes, and ingredients.
  • The development of a process flow diagram will create a graphical illustration of the whole service operations that start from the raw material receiving up to the final serving of the food for the consumption of the end-user.
  • The verification of the flow diagram will conduct an inspection of whether the flow diagram needs adjustment and is accurate.
  • The intended use of the products and the target customers. This task will describe whether the product is a raw ingredient, an additive, or a product ready for consumption. There is a clear description of whom the intended customers are and what customers could be allergic to the product.

If you choose to devise a HACCP plan, these steps can take days of meetings and prolonged working hours. Thanks to modern advancements in technology, businesses can make use of software as a service solution to get optimal, precise, quick, and accurate results. Agtech businesses are making use of HACCP software such as ERPs and plan builders.

This software allows a business to skip the preliminary tasks to be done on their end and rather let the software do them for you. This can reduce operational costs and increase the productivity of the employees by reducing the workload.

The Contents of the HACCP Principles Checklist

The content of the HACCP compliance principles is based on seven principles. These principles if followed correctly address the potential risks for food safety in the food business. The seven principles are:

  • Hazard analysis and the hazard identification. All of the hazards that are related to the food products that are produced and all the processes which the food goes through, they need to be properly analysed after their identification.
  • The establishment of the critical control points is needed. Here, all of the steps of the food business are identified. Then these procedures will be set to control particular hazards. The use of a hazard decision tree can help identify a CCP.
  • The establishment of critical limits. These limits can be based on peer-reviewed articles and the international regulatory standards to help assign a safe critical limit for each critical control point.
  • Establishment of corrective actions. Here are the actions that will address the deviation of the critical limits will be identified and then assigned. These can bring them back t safe levels and make food fit for consumption.
  • Have adequate monitoring procedures. All the critical control points have to be monitored accordingly to make sure that these are specifically designed to ensure the compliance of the procedures to meet all food safety regulations. Any anomaly must be identified and attended to by using corrective actions. This is best achieved by HACCP software. These reduce the human burden and 24/7 surveillance can be done accurately.
  • The verification procedure will verify that the HACCP compliances are being met and working effectively. This verification must pass with the regulatory authorities as well.
  • Accurate record-keeping is required. These make sure that there is a complete documentation of all information included in the HACCP plan. This will also include the set of procedures that dictate how to collect the records for the monitoring of the HACCP system.

When all of these principles are tested and all of these boxes are checked out, the business will be ready for the HACCP compliance procedures for verification. Other important food safety needs and monitoring for the food safety procedures relating to management.

These help monitor control hazards such as multiplication of pathogens or even any physical hazards in the processes.

These can also include the checklists which will monitor templates for analytical testing for the chemicals, the end-product testing, microbiological testing and the aspects of food storage. For solutions for HACCP compliances, you can make use of HACCP software for Agtech.

Also Read: Digitize Your Quality & Compliance Processes With a Food Safety and Quality Management System

What Happens after a Business Becomes HACCP Compliant?

Once a company achieves the status of being HACCP compliant. This means that the team has accurately implemented the HACCP plan for the business. A general question that comes up after the company meets HACCP compliance standards is what will be next.

The journey to achieve and maintain food safety does not stop after the HACCP plan is approved. New challenges appear for food safety compliance, such as how these plans will be implemented and ensuring that there is proper execution each and every day to produce safe food for consumption.

Then the verification and the maintenance of the critical control points on the defined HACCP plan will determine the status of the company’s approach to food safety. One of the most effective ways to make sure that the HACCP plan is properly implemented will be that it is consistently monitored for the working procedures of the food operations.

HACCP software offers food safety monitoring systems that can be implemented by Agtech solution companies such as Folio3. An effective and efficient method that will ensure the continuous monitoring of the HACCP compliance is by following a comprehensive food safety management system that can be serviced by HACCP software.

The monitoring and documentation can be done by the software. The critical control points of the control measures can be helpful for the employees to monitor the processes without missing tasks, and reduce the workload.

What if a Company Fails to Implement HACCP Plans?

The passing of the HACCP compliance evaluation is dependent upon certain factors. These factors are the effectiveness and the accuracy of the drafted HACCP plan. It sounds quite simple, but in practical conditions, several food businesses fail to pass the HACCP evaluation on their first try.

This is why companies hire HACCP consultants that can help develop a plan and solutions. It is best to make sure that your internal food safety team does not become too dependent on the consultation expert and may lack their part of involvement during the development process.

Even the employees and the food safety managers must be aware of the HACCP plan to ensure perfection, as the risks need to be minimized. If a company fails to implement the HACCP plans or detects ineffectiveness in the plans, this means that the team will have to reevaluate the HACCP plan from scratch.

Conduction of regular internal audits or verification schedules can actively identify the areas that require reworking. These audits can uncover problems, so the company can solve these issues. The audit records will also be a part of the documentation of the HACCP compliance.

What is the Difference Between Being Compliant with HACCP and Being HACCP Certified?

The major difference between being HACCP compliant is succeeded with becoming HACCP certified. The meaning of HACCP compliance is that the business observes the practices of the food business and follows the HACCP requirements. These aim to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Being HACCP compliant is to follow the 7 principles on the company-end. Once the company becomes HACCP compliant, then it can have a HACCP-certified food business.

This certification is achieved by award-giving bodies, which officially recognize the company for meeting all standards and being HACCP compliant.

The HACCP certificate is granted by a regulatory body after an inspection which ensures that the company has passed the HACCP audit which is conducted by third-party experts or qualified auditors which after ensures that the food business has complete control over the food safety.

The certifications ensure that the plan is effective. These also verify the status of the previous HACCP compliance. The certification acts as a means of proof for the business to stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and customers that the business has a functioning food safety program that adheres to HACCP compliances.

Both of these processes can help in food safety and the regulatory bodies to determine the effectiveness of the HACCP plan as it can protect public health from foodborne illnesses and has adequate preventive and corrective measures.

To become compliant, make sure that the HACCP plan is accurate, complete, and actively applicable to the food operations. It is best to implement HCCAP software for the business prospects.

How Can a Food Business Become HACCP Compliant?

If we talk about the legal prospects to become HACCP compliant, the food businesses need to implement a plan that will contain strategies based on the 7 principles of HACCP. It is also critical to follow the 5 preliminary steps and the prerequisite programs that can provide satisfaction for safe food processing and ensure the best food quality.

Then these plans must also be verified by an expert in food safety with relevance to the nature of food products. For example, if you are a meat processor, you must ensure USDA approval. There are two major ways to become compliant.

The Traditional Method

The traditional method of making a plan which is HACCP compliant will include hours of revisions, testing, planning, and consultations just to develop an initial plan. Each of the seven principles needs to be carefully analysed and considered, ensuring effective implementation.

The HACCP developing process needs to be backed up with written proof that the limits and established points can actively be addressing a particular hazard for food safety.

One of the best traditional practices in the business is to hire an expert HACCP consultant who can use their experience to increase the chances of meeting the needs of the food regulators and the food business.

The Newer, More Digital Method

Thanks to advancements in technology, the food industry has embraced innovations in science. The introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the quality assurance of food safety is proving to be useful. Smart HACCP software is being integrated with businesses to allow them to make smart decisions. A food business, today, can get a complete and detailed HACCP plan generated automatically by the HACCP software as quickly as one hour.

How Does the General HACCP Software Work to Ensure HACCP Compliance?

The software will require you to answer some questions that will be in regard to the food business. These questions include context to understand the nature of the business operations, the target market for your food, the number of customers that are expected every day, and the most common ingredients that are included in the food.

This innovation can help cut down the resources required for planning, and also decrease the operational costs in the planning process. The HACCP software will also consider the location and your business operations involved.

So to get your business to become HACCP compliant, it is necessary to complete all of the 12 steps that are involved in either method. The steps include the seven main HACCP principles and the five preliminary steps.

Additionally, these will also ensure that the HACCP plan will follow all of the food safety regulatory requirements and the laws which result in making the company HACCP compliant. The key to achieving these compliance objectives is to have a strong foundation of food safety practices.

What Are Some of the Most Common Critical Control Points?

The critical points are stages in the food production process where hazards can be reduced to safe and acceptable levels, elimination of hazards, and prevention. Some examples are the food when it is being cooked when it is being packaged, or while it is being cooled. A hazard analysis will mostly consist of three parts. These risks are the:

  • Physical risks. The physical risks are the elements of processes that can pose physical danger to the consumers. An example would be, there are any bones in the meat that could pose a choking hazard? Or whether there is a bone piece that can damage the teeth of the consumer if they chew mistakenly.
  • Biological risks. These risks are the biological threats to food by other microorganisms. Such as determining the chances for the bacteria growth while food is being cooled or if the food becomes contaminated with any other harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli.
  • Chemical risks. These are the risks that are posed by additives that are to the products. Examples include, are there any dangerous or hazardous chemical compounds in the food, what if the chemicals react with each other in certain conditions, and what if additives react with each other and produce a harmful bi-product.

Hiring Folio3 for a software Solution, and what are the benefits?

Folio3 is a software solution company providing software services in domains such as e-commerce, software for industries, and Agtech solutions. The company can help you by providing you a HACCP software that will ensure food safety and provide several benefits while meeting HACCP compliance. Folio3 can help you get HACCP software solutions alongside benefits in the process such as:

  • Providing a very transparent communication method. This will help you get the HACCP software that you understand. We make sure that the communication is crystal clear, so the customer is not confused.
  • To make sure that the data of the business is also transparent. This transparency will ensure that the actions are all completed and data is kept safe from manipulation. For the business owner, it means increased visibility, which will allow a clear view of the workflows. Instead of managing the sheets for the data, the software is connected to databases that store data. This provides safe data storage of operations carried out.
  • The software that we will provide will help food businesses to deal with HACCP compliance Our software services can improve the traceability of food to help in corrective actions, increase the food safety, ensure data transparency, keep the data secure from external meddling, provide organized documentation for immediate access, and provide a better corrective action plan and preventive action as our software makes use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning makes our solutions smart, which improves the HACCP compliances and subsequently uplifts the standards of service to levels that become models for other competitors and customers. These also enable our customers to make smart decisions such as immediate recalls of contaminated products, automatic triggers, and warnings.
  • The software solution will be of benefit for sudden inspections from regulatory authorities. As authorities approach, instead of searching for documents and making the inspection difficult for them. The software will digitize all operations by providing automated dashboards. All of the functions will be visible and the data in a centralized database. This will allow easy and transparent inspection. The addition of the food safety logs in the software is available at all times, which ensures 24/7 monitoring. The company has data available at all times, so they can always perform external inspections or internal inspections as per their needs. Also, in the case of a surprise inspection by government authorities, you can always be ready.
  • The HACCP software will provide a set of corrective actions to provide food safety for your digital systems. The provision of a backup plan is essential for businesses, and our software provides this solution when something goes wrong. This even helps in risk management in the working environments as well. Preventive actions can also be ready, in case of detection of faulty equipment, the software will immediately notify the technicians and prompt them to fix it keeping the food safe. Folio3 Agtech HACCP software solutions can help businesses even include personalized actions to your production processes. This means you can have HACCP compliance and even follow your own added safety standards thanks to tailored software.

The software companies can help the businesses to provide HACCP compliances that are required to maintain food safety.

The customized introduction by Folio3 using machine learning and artificial intelligence also helps in decreasing the factor of human error, making the food compliant with the HACCP principles, reducing the operational costs, and making the process streamlined and effective.

You can hire Folio3 to develop HACCP software to meet HACCP compliances needs. The optimization and automation make our solutions the best in the Agtech industry.

Some Notable Features of our HACCP Software:

Folio3 has certain specialized features in our HACCP software, such as:

  • A fully-fledged, 24/7 record-keeping system that automatically feeds data into the databases, removing any human error factor and making the process automated.
  • A verification program that can make sure that the company processes are in HACCP compliance.
  • Provide a customized flow diagram that will be tailored to your company’s operations.
  • The establishment of critical control points will include the acceptable critical limits that were set or can be set by using artificial intelligence.
  • The precise identification of food safety health hazards and their analysis.
  • The establishment of a smart corrective plan of action in the case of a critical limit being breached or product contamination, where the affected foods will be traced and identified to be removed.
  • The 24/7 monitoring of critical control points of the processes.

Cost of HACCP Software

In a study that was published in the Journal of Food Science, it estimated that the cost for the development of HACCP software for food safety systems can range from $6,000 to $87,000. The costs depend on several factors such as the extensiveness of the plans, the expertise of the solution provider, the location of the business, and hiring consultants for the task.

So instead of following the traditional method which is costly and time-consuming, it is best to use HACCP software from Agtech solution providing companies such as Folio3. Their HACCP software can help businesses get complete HACCP compliances. These consume less time and are much more affordable.

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Conclusion

The achievement of HACCP compliances is important for end-consumers are business owners equally. These help the food business meet all safety protocols and ensure the production, transportation, and processing of the food which makes it safe. This safe food can then be fit for consumption.

It is best to have HACCP software in this modern era. Agtech businesses are making use of HACCP software such as ERPs and plan builders. This software allows a business to skip the preliminary tasks to be done on their end and rather let the software do them for you.

This can reduce operational costs and increase the productivity of the employees by reducing the workload. Businesses must hire experts in the domain of Agtech solutions such as Folio3 due to their extensive experience, affordable packages, and high-quality solutions.

About Folio3 AgTech Practice

Folio3 is a Silicon Valley based Digital Transformation partner for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies with a special focus on digitization of Agriculture, Production and Companion Animal industry. Having worked with some of the world’s leading animal health companies, cattle associations, cow-calf operators, cattle feeders, beef processors and beef marketing companies, we have the design and development expertise required to help you digitize your manual procedures and practices, whether you’re a farm or a ranch owner, veterinarian, feedlot manager, nutritionist, or processing plant owner, we have got you covered.

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