Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
نظام تحليل المخاطر و نقاط التحكم الحرجة
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system, often known under its acronym HACCP system is a scientific and systematic way of enhancing the safety of foods from primary production to final consumption through the identification and evaluation of specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have formulated regulation that many food companies must follow HACCP as a preventive, structured, systematic, and documented approach to ensure food safety. This program itself is a straight – forward and logical system of enhancing of food safety through prevention of problems.
* Advantages of HACCP:
1- HACCP is the most effective and efficient way to ensure that food products are safe.
2 - A HACCP system will emphasize the industry role in continuous problem solving and prevention rather than relying solwely on periodic facility inspections by regulatory agencies.
3 - Most quality assurance programs are designed to discover rather than prevent problems. Meanwhile, HACCP systems are based on the prevention of problems rather than discovery.
4 - The major effect of HACCP is to: focus the control effort on the important issues, delegate responsibility, and enforce documentation and action.
The National Advisory Committee has recommended that HACCP be based upon a solid foundation of prerequisite programs. These programs include:
• Facilities design and maintenance.
• Label control.
• Formula control.
• Pest control.
• Traceability and recall.
• Quality-control procedures.
• Supplier control.
• Process procedures.
• Calibration of instruments.
• Production equipment.
• Cleaning and sanitation.
• Personal hygiene.
• Chemical control.
*Basic Principles of HACCP:
• Analyze hazards. Potential hazards associated with a food and measures to control those hazards are identified. The hazard could be biological, such as a microbe; chemical, such as a pesticide; or physical, such as ground glass or metal fragments.
• Identify critical control points. These are points in a food's production - from its raw state through to processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer - at which the potential hazard can be controlled or eliminated. Examples are cooking, cooling, packaging and metal detection.
• Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point. For a cooked food, for example, this might include setting the minimum cooking temperature and time required to ensure the elimination of any microbes.
• Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points; such procedures might include determining how and by whom cooking time and temperature should be monitored.
• Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not been met. For example, reprocessing or disposing of food if the minimum cooking temperature is not met.
• Establish procedures to verify that the System is working properly: For example, testing time-and-temperature recording devices to verify that a cooking unit is working properly.
• Establish effective record-keeping to document the HACCP system: This would include records of hazards and their control methods, the monitoring of safety requirements and action taken to correct potential problems.
Before the application of the HACCP principles there are five preliminary tasks need to be accomplished.
*The five preliminary tasks are:
- Assemble the HACCP Team.
- Describe the Food and its Distribution.
- Describe the Intended Use and Consumers of the Food.
- Develop a Flow Diagram Which Describes the Process.
- Verify the Flow Diagram.
HACCP system has a considerable influence on the Egyptian food processing companies' performance. The HACCP system implementation in Egypt is seen as critical for the industry’s future expansion and future development. Its export markets are unlikely to develop without the implementation of an industry wide standard which is acceptable internationally, furthermore it could be argued that the home market may also suffer without such a system. The effective industry wide implementation of HACCP should therefore be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.