Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and pharmaceutical safety that addresses physical, chemical and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection. It is used to identify potential food safety hazards so that action can be taken to reduce the risk of illness, and, consequently, reduce the risk of product recalls or serious legal claims.
Most HACCP programs are aimed at juice, meat and seafood producers, but the HACCP principles can be applied successfully in any segment of the manufacturing industry.
Importance of Training
Training and education are critical for successful HACCP implementation, providing the HACCP teams, managers, operators and food handlers with the additional technical skills required to implement HACCP. A survey revealed that the use of HACCP and proper implementation of the seven principles was significantly higher in businesses with qualified and trained managers than in businesses without any formally trained managers. Training should emphasize the following objectives:
- An understanding of the practical implications of HACCP to food safety
- Practical expertise and knowledge for HACCP application
- Motivation for further development and management of HACCP
Training focused on HACCP principles and applications should include professionally prepared information presented in a clear, authoritative way by an individual already experienced in HACCP application. This could be someone employed at your company or an external consultant.
Content of Training
The content of training depends on the unique characteristics of your facility. However, the curricula might include the following elements:
- Biological, chemical and physical hazards
- Applicability of current good manufacturing practices and sanitation standard operating procedures
- The five preliminary steps of HACCP with application to the specific manufacturing segment
- The seven principles of HACCP and how they apply to the industry
- The applicable HACCP regulation and related guidance documents
After an HACCP plan has been developed and training carried out, it is important to periodically verify the plan and training’s efficacy as well as maintain it by training new employees. The plan should be updated and revised. Employees, both new and old, should understand their roles and implement their responsibilities to apply HACCP as an effective food safety system.