The HACCP methodology is a structured, preventive approach to food safety that optimises efforts to provide the consumer with safe food. It is mandatory in several countries, including the US and within the EU. An efficient food safety management system tailored to your processes will support you in your efforts to prevent food safety failures and associated costs, and ensure legal compliance. Independent certification demonstrates your commitment to food safety.
What is the HACCP method?
HACCP is a risk management tool specifically designed for the food sector by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, jointly established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The risk management activities include:
- Risk evaluation
- Risk management option assessment
- Implementation of management decisions
- Monitoring and review
In the context of the food sector, HACCP can be:
- Corrective: When objectives for food safety have been established by Codex or national risk managers, these can be adopted by the industry. By applying HACCP the industry can assure that these objectives are met.
- Preventive: A hazard analysis identifies potential hazards that need to be controlled to prevent potential harm to the consumer.
Why is certification good for my business?
The potential benefits of HACCP are numerous, but the most significant are tangible and demonstrable improvements in food safety performance and a greater level of assurance in the area of legal compliance. The ultimate objective of the system is to assure food safety by means of food safety hazards identification and management instead of low-efficiency, retroactive quality control.
HACCP system certification enables your organisation to:
- Communicate confidence to the customers, demonstrating that the food is produced by means of safe processes
- Prove that it has taken all reasonable precautions to guarantee the production of safe food
- Allow customers to demand that suppliers are assessed and certified, if they operate in a country with a strong food safety legislative framework
- Reduce the number of audits carried out by customers and, consequently, save management time spent and related costs
- Reduce product waste and product recall
- Improve relations with food safety authorities
- Improve efficiency
Certification to the HACCP standard provides an effective means of communicating with stakeholders and other interested parties. It is an important element in demonstrating food safety commitments under corporate governance, corporate responsibility, and financial reporting requirements.
How can I prepare for certification?
A preventive way of thinking is the main attitude that enables you to achieve significant results.
The process includes:
- Identification of the food safety hazards and significant risks
- Identification of the control measures capable of eliminating the relevant food safety hazards or reducing them to an acceptable level
- Definition of the operation parameters needed to ensure the control measures effectiveness, including monitoring procedures and corrective action in case of failure.
- Validation of the control measures
- Documentation of the HACCP system, including the HACCP plan
- Implementation, verification, and improvement of the HACCP system
Development, implementation, and certification of an HACCP system is a continuous journey, with the independent audit representing one element of the total assessment process.