HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
Key Vocabulary • HACCP- an acronym for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. It is a production control system that is used primarily in the food industry, but could be used in virtually any situation where quality and problem prevention is important. • The HACCP system is designed to identify potential hazards and prevent them before they cause a problem. HACCP takes into account all potential hazards, establishes safe limits for these hazards, provides corrective action if critical limits are exceeded and documents the process from start to finish. • Hazard - any identifiable cause of illness or injury. Hazards can be physical, chemical or microbiological.
Key Vocabulary • Contamination - exposure of food products to chemical, physical or biological hazards that, at significant levels, can cause illness, disease or even death. • Critical Control Points - points in the production process where hazards could occur • and can be prevented or controlled. • Critical Limits - an established range for each critical control point, outside of which, contamination is significant. For the HACCP program to work, all readings or procedures must remain within these critical limits.
Key Vocabulary • Monitoring - the process of checking all procedures, temperatures or other criteria for adherence to the critical limits of the program. • Pathogen - the cause of disease. For example, a bacteria or virus is a pathogen. • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) - a written plan that describes in detail those procedures that will be performed each day in order to maintain sanitary conditions and prevent contamination. • Verification - the process of keeping records on the monitoring of all critical control points in order to show adherence to the critical limits of the HACCP program.
History of HACCP • HACCP relates to the food industry, but could be used in virtually any situation where quality and problem prevention are important • pharmaceuticals or science and medical laboratories. • Using HACCP in the food industry helps identify where potential contamination can occur, monitors these critical control points and documents procedures to show compliance. • HACCP is not really new. The process was first developed in the 1960s by Pillsbury • A way to assure the space program a steady source of safe, wholesome food for NASA astronauts. • Established and refined the standard of HACCP that is used today. • Without such procedures to identify contamination points and eliminate problems, we would have two options. • Test every food product at each stage from production to consumption • Unrealistic approach • Simply hope that any problems were caught • Could have dire consequences for the consumer.
Reasons for Using HACCP • Food safety has become a major concern in the food industry. • Several reasons for this increased concern. • Food industry has become extremely market driven. The demand for fast, ready-to-eat, inexpensive, convenient and nutritious foods has increased dramatically • over the past 20-30 years. The food industry must produce more products, produce them faster, produce them cheaper and make them more convenient. • If not handled properly, these products can become contaminated, and if not cooked properly, they can be unsafe. • Consumers are becoming more aware of food safety concerns. • Mediareports outbreaks of food-borne contamination and brings them to our attention. • Food industry has grown and will continue to grow in size and scale. Such growth is often accompanied by increased numbers of untrained workers and production schedules that limit the time available for hazard prevention. • New and constant threat from new strains of pathogenic bacteria and more resistant forms of known pathogens. • Government mandates are requiring several areas within the food industry to implement HACCP Programs. These standards will likely be followed or required in additional areas of food service in the future.
Types of Food Contamination • HACCP processes take into account all potential contamination hazards that could occur, establishes safe limits for those hazards, provides corrective action to take if those safety limits are exceeded and allows workers to document the process. • Idea behind the HACCP process is to catch deviations when they are small so they are eliminated and do not become big problems. It is also a series of safeguards which, unless the operators (people) and equipment fail in one or more steps, will help keep our food safe to eat. • Contamination can occur in three forms: chemical, physical, and microbiological.
Chemical Contamination • Chemical contamination consists of chemicals • pesticide or herbicide residues on vegetables • hormone residues in animal products • cleaning or sanitizing agents
Physical Contamination • Physical contamination could come from foreign objects • Glass or metal fragments (from broken dishes or machinery that is not functioning properly) • Fingernails (YUCK!) • Dirt • Insect Parts • Rodent Feces • Anything that does not belong in the food!
Microbiological Contamination • Accidental exposure of bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi to food products or allowing the pathogens naturally present on foods to multiply to potentially harmful concentrations • leftovers are not promptly covered and refrigerated • HACCP and pathogens, contamination refers to levels of pathogens above those normally found on the food products we eat • Levels sufficient enough to cause illness, disease or even death • Pathogens have many sources • dirt, air, our hands and fruits or vegetables • Around us all the time • Many of these pathogens are normally harmless or even needed by our bodies • Our colon needs bacteria in order to function properly in helping to digest our food • When pathogens are harmless, our healthy bodies are sufficient to fight off infection • When our bodies are not in good health, our immune system cannot fight infection or when pathogens are so numerous our immune system is overwhelmed, then illness and disease can set in.
7 Principles of HACCP • HACCP processes are easy to design, easy to use and are very affordable • In fact, it pays to incorporate HACCP principles into their daily activities for several reasons • Assures a safe and wholesome product • Valuable marketing tool because consumers know you care about their health • It pays through peace of mind and from a legal standpoint by showing a written record of compliance if problems should occur. • Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis. Determine all food safety hazards likely to occur during the production process and what can be done to prevent them. • Principle 2: Identify critical control points. Determine the steps in the process that can be controlled or monitored and the best methods of preventing possible contamination for those steps.
7 Principles of HACCP • Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each critical control point. Determine a maximum or minimum level for the potential hazard at each critical control point. • Principle 4: Establish critical control point monitoring procedures. Monitoring may consist of either measurement or visual appraisals of the critical control points. • Principle 5: Establish corrective actions. Determine the procedure for correcting a problem if the critical limits are exceeded. In extreme cases, corrective actions may consist of condemning and disposing of the food in question. • Principle 6: Establish record-keeping procedures. Records should consist of a copy of Standard Operating Procedures, the HACCP plan, documentation of the monitoring of critical control points, verification activities and corrective actions taken for any deviations from established criteria. • Principle 7: Establish verification procedures. Verification of the HACCP program ensures that the program is working as intended. Verification may consist of reviews of HACCP plans and procedures, regular reviews of critical control point monitoring records and even microbial sampling and testing of products. • If reviews reveal any problems or deviations occurring on a regular basis, those areas of the HACCP plan may need to be scrutinized and re-designed.
Chain of Responsibility • The responsibility of ensuring the safety of the food we eat is tremendous. • No single company or individual should have that responsibility alone. • Burden falls on several links in what we call the chain of responsibility. It begins with the producer and ends with the consumer. • There are seven levels in the typical food preparation and processing chain of responsibility: • Pre-harvest or Producer • Harvest or Slaughter • Processing • Transportation • Distribution • Retailing • Consumer • The first five areas will be briefly discussed, but the sixth (Retailing) and the seventh (Consumer) will be explained in greater detail. The retailer is often the one that sells the food directly to the consumer. • You - the consumer - are the ultimate checkpoint in the chain of responsibility.
Pre-Harvest or Producer • Farmers, livestock feeders, & breeders • Make sure all facilities are kept clean. • Properly use chemicals and pharmaceuticals and observe withdrawal times for pesticides, herbicides and animal health products.
Harvest or Slaughter • Food crop harvester, packing plants • Keep all machinery, equipment and facilities clean and sanitary. • Make sure equipment and machinery are in good working order. • Keep animals reasonably clean and healthy. • Handle the carcasses properly throughout the slaughter process. • Take care not to cut into internal organs. Wash carcasses thoroughly. • Make sure proper cooler temperatures are maintained.
Processing • Fruit and vegetable processors, packing facilities, cooked food processors, canners, meat and poultry fabricators, processing plants • Keep all facilities scrupulously clean, sanitary and free from contaminants such as insects and vermin. • Use metal detectors and other ways to eliminate physical particles. Maintain proper refrigeration temperatures. • Make sure all cooked foods reach the proper temperatures for the specified length of time.
Transportation • Anything that moves the product: trucks (including refrigerated), carts, vehicles, forklifts, conveyor belts • Make sure the equipment or machinery is in good working order and used properly. • Keep refrigerated trucks at the proper temperature. Do not leave products stored on transportation vehicles.
Distribution • Products stored at a distribution center. • Make sure the products are rotated (first in, first out). • Products not shipped within a safe time should be discarded. • Don’t leave products on the loading dock—place refrigerated foods in the cooler immediately. • Keep the facilities clean and free of vermin, but be cautious when using pesticides and rodent fumigation.
Retailing • Grocery stores, restaurants, food service facilities—including cafeterias, catering facilities, lunch wagons, convenience stores and snack bars. • Storage: Check food products before you accept them. • Check for spoilage that may indicate that proper transportation time or temperatures were not maintained and check boxes for damage. • Place refrigerated foods in the cooler without delay. • Practice product rotation, especially with perishable items. • Products past the expiration date must be discarded. Keep facilities clean and sanitary. • Preparing the Food: The facilities must be kept clean and sanitary. Employees should receive training on proper sanitation, hygiene and food safety. • Proper food cooking and food handling procedures should be followed at all times. Check expiration dates. • Cooks should discard any foods that show any signs of spoilage or contamination. Wipe up spills immediately so they don’t sour and collect dirt or draw insects/vermin. Grills and food cooking appliances (like hot dog warmers) must be kept clean. • Keep fountain drink areas clean.
Serving the Food • Provide “sneeze shields” over salad bars and provide a spoon or tong for each selection. • Keep buffet-style foods covered or at proper temperatures. • Wear gloves to handle food, pick up food with tongs or use waxed paper sheets, wear hair nets, keep clothes away from food and wash hands often while working with foods. • Wash your hands every time you use the restroom and after you “bus”(remove dirty dishes from) a table so you don’t transfer contamination to food you are serving. • Many non-traditional places are now serving food. • The grocery store deli prepares and packages meals to go. • Lunch trucks come to businesses. • Local convenience store for bread, milk, a taco and a cola. • It is especially important that employees who prepare these convenience foods are knowledgeable about proper cooking and holding techniques and follow good hygiene practices adapted to their situation. • Employees who cannot leave the area to wash their hands can clean their hands using antibacterial wipes.
Consumer • It is the ultimate responsibility of the consumer to check and double check foods purchased, cooked and served. • Almost all potential hazards in the food safety chain can be detected and prevented at the consumer level and this is the very last critical control point before the item is eaten.
Consumer • When Eating Out: A quick look is smart and it doesn’t have to appear as though you are analyzing the food. • Check your food for visible signs of contamination, such as spoiled lettuce or a piece of china that flew up into your plate when a tray of cups crashed onto the floor. • Also note if you smell a strange odor, like soap or cleaning solution, which might indicate the utensils and cookware were not properly rinsed. • Make sure the food is not undercooked. Steaks and chops can be pink inside, but ground meats should be brown all the way through and the juices should run clear. • Purchasing and Preparing Food: Purchase only the freshest foods. Check expiration dates. Don’t buy more than you can use in a reasonable amount of time. • Don’t let perishable foods stay un-refrigerated. Keep fruits and raw vegetables separated from your raw meat and poultry. • Contrary to popular belief, food-borne illness can be transmitted to humans on virtually any food product, not just meat and poultry.
Simple Rules to Prevent Contamination 1. Practice good personal hygiene • Wear clean clothes, wash your hands after using the restroom and before and after eating and wash your hands after handling other food products. 2. Practice proper sanitation • Keep all equipment, utensils, tools and facilities clean and sanitary and prevent cross-contaminationby washing tools, utensils and equipment before using them on other food products. 3. Follow established food handling rules • Keep hot foods hot and keep cold foods cold. • Make sure all cooked foods reach temperatures adequate to kill pathogens and cool and store leftovers properly. • Play it safe: wash your hands, wash all utensils and equipment and wash all food products. Use separate cutting surfaces for different foods, properly cook all foods, and before you eat it or serve it, look for signs of possible contamination. • Remember: when in doubt, throw it out!