Let's look at HACCP principle 4, Monitoring Procedures. The monitoring that takes place at the critical control points is essential to the effectiveness of the HACCP program. The monitoring program will be made up of physical measurement or observations that can be done in a timely manner, to provide the information in a time frame that allows you to take action and control product if an out of control situation occurs.
The food safety team must identify appropriate monitoring for each critical control point. The monitoring must be specifically designed to monitor the specific hazard that is being controlled at that point. The method should give you early warning if a process is losing control, and let you know if a critical limit has been exceeded.
Design a data analysis plan that will give you the information you need about the process at the critical control point. Identify the appropriate measuring equipment, responsibilities for measuring or observation as well as training and qualifications of those responsible The plan must address how data will be recorded, reviewed and analyzed.
If continuous monitoring is not in place, for example sampling of raw material, then the appropriate statistics will be needed to determine the frequency of measurement. The location of the monitoring is also a key element. It must take place exactly where the hazard is being controlled.
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.