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HACCP for Food Safety Certification Programs

As you build your system, you will need to identify information that is needed to conduct an effective hazard analysis. You will also need to collect, maintain, update and document this information.

The first step to address these requirements is to establish your food safety team or HACCP Team. The members of the team will collect information on characteristics of raw materials, ingredients and end products and identify food safety requirements related to them and prepare descriptions to be used in the hazard analysis.

In addition to this information the team will determine the intended use of the end products, considering the consumers of the product. It is up to the team to identify what potential risks there are of misuse or mishandling and if there is a particularly vulnerable group of people included in the consumers. The team documents the information to be used in the hazard analysis.

The next step is for the team to prepare flow diagrams for the products. The diagrams show the sequence and interaction of each step in the process for the product. It is important that this shows where raw materials, ingredients and intermediate product enter the flow as well as where they are released or removed. All outsourced work is identified on the flowchart so it can be considered during the hazard analysis.

Once the diagrams are prepared the team verifies the diagram by on-site checking of the process against the diagram. The last piece of information to prepare to enable the hazard analysis is a description of the process steps and existing control measures. A description of any regulatory or customer requirements is included so they are addressed in the HACCP plan.

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Benefits of HACCP

The primary purpose of a HACCP system is to protect people from food borne illness, but the benefits of the system also extend to the company.

  • Increased confidence in your products
  • Ability to reach markets and customers that require a HACCP based system
  • Reduced Liability
  • Effective process management
  • Improved quality and consistency
US Government HACCP Page