Submitted to: National Egg Quality School Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2012
Publication Date: 5/21/2012
Citation: Jones, D.R. 2012. The Basics of HACCP. National Egg Quality School Proceedings. May 20-24, 2012, Indianapolis, IN. 5:27-31.
Technical Abstract: HACCP is an acronym for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point and was initially developed by the Pillsbury Company and NASA. They utilized this program to enhance the safety of the food for manned space flights. The USDA-FSIS implemented the HACCP approach to food safety in the meat and poultry industries beginning in 1998. An assessment of the program was published by the Office of the Inspector General in June 2000. (http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/haccp.pdf) HACCP is a food safety program. It is not meant to deal with quality issues directly. Quality assurance programs should handle those issues. There are potential changes on the horizon for meat and poultry HACCP. You can stay informed about these changes by visiting: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/index.asp. There are several prerequisite programs associated with HACCP. As previously discussed, Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are examples of prerequisite programs. Development of a flow diagram, product descriptions, and product ingredient lists are also examples of prerequisite information needed to successfully develop a HACCP plan. It is important to remember that they are not principles of HACCP. Before beginning any HACCP process, a flow diagram of the process should be developed. Assessment of hazards can be performed easiest with the aid of a flow diagram. Be sure to include not only where ingredients enter the process, but also packaging materials and product storage. Once the flow chart is complete, it is a good idea to walk through the processing line to review the diagram. It is very easy to overlook a step when it is process you work with everyday. It is also a good idea to have someone else review the flow diagram to ensure that your process is clearly represented. If an inspector or auditor ever needs to refer to the flow diagram, you want to make sure they understand what it says. The flow diagram does not need to be professionally drawn. It should be clear, concise, and convey the complete process being described. Don’t forget to include shipping and receiving in the flow chart. An example can be seen in Figure 1. Figure 1. Flow chart example. There are seven principles of HACCP. They are as follows: 1) Assess hazards 2) Determine critical control points 3) Set critical limits 4) Monitor critical control points 5) Corrective actions 6) Record keeping 7) Verification Principle 1. Assess hazards. After designing the flow diagram, you then need to assess each step on the flow diagram for potential hazards. There are three types of identified hazards in HACCP: physical, chemical, and biological. A physical hazard is any item, usually visible, which can cause physical harm to a consumer. An example of a physical hazard would be metal shavings, wood fragments, glass, etc. A chemical hazard is defined as a chemical substance that could cause harm to the consumer or is not declared on the label. Machine oil, pesticides, insecticides, and sanitizer residue are all examples of chemical hazards. A biological hazard is one which could cause the consumer to become ill or promote the growth of pathogens in the product. Examples of biological hazards include: cooked product contacting raw product, inadequate thermal processing, and inadequate storage temperatures. Principle 2. Identify critical control points. A critical control point (CCP) is a point in the process where a hazard can and must be controlled to reduce or eliminate a hazard. To determine if an identified hazard is a CCP, you must first rank the risk and severity of the hazard. A “decision tree” can then be utilized to determine, based on the risk and severity, if the hazard is a CCP. There are several sources where example forms for risk and severity, along with decision trees,