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What’s the difference between HACCP, TACCP, and VACCP?


They all sound very similar and all are involved in the safety of the food we manufacture, but what exactly is the difference between HACCP, TACCP and VACCP?

HACCP – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

HACCP, as many of you will know, was initially developed in the 1960s by NASA to prevent astronauts from contracting food poisoning in space. It has since been refined and is now part of every major food manufacturer/supplier’s day-to-day routine. It stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and can be approached either by product or process.

The HACCP team evaluates the entire production process step by step from delivery intake to packaging and transport of the completed product. During this process any stages where the product could be subject to physical, microbiological or chemical contamination are identified. Measures are put in place for those deemed critical (i.e. metal detectors, temperature controls, cleaning etc.) and these are regularly monitored to ensure that the end product is safe for human consumption.

Verner Wheelock offers a range of HACCP courses from Level 2 to advanced Level 4

TACCP – Threat Assessment Critical Control Point

Relatively new, TACCP, by comparison stands for Threat Assessment Critical Control Point. An essential part of food safety management and required under the latest BRC version 7 Global Standard, it was developed in reaction to the increase in food fraud detected in recent years. The most widely reported was, of course, the horsemeat scandal but food fraud manifests itself in a variety of different ways.

Whereas HACCP is concerned with the prevention of food-borne illnesses and the prevention of unintentional or accidental hazards/threats to food safety, TACCP is concerned with the prevention of deliberate and intentional food fraud. This can take the form of substitution of ingredients, passing off of one foodstuff for another, false or misleading statements  for economic gain that could impact public health, product tampering, fake or incorrect labelling etc. Product traceability throughout the supply chain is hence of vital importance.

VACCP – Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points

TACCP and VACCP go hand in hand in the quest to demonstrate product authenticity. Both are designed to prevent the intentional adulteration of food. TACCP identifies the threat of behaviourally or economically-motivated adulteration; VACCP identifies how vulnerable various points in the supply chain are to the threat of economically-motivated adulteration. Again, the assessment of vulnerability is required to satisfy requirements of BRCv7.

We have already run an in-house VACCP course for manufacturers and this April sees the first of our open courses on the subject.  You can find out more about the course content here, but essentially it has been designed to give learners the knowledge and skills to conduct a Raw Material Vulnerability Assessment on their supply chain to protect against the risk of fraud. The course will take you through methodology to achieve this, to identify types of fraud that might occur in the supply chain, assess vulnerabilities and establish appropriate preventative measures.

The next VACCP course takes place on 13th April 2016. Places are being filled quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment. Don’t forget that if you have 5 or more people to train, it’s often economical and more convenient to book an in-house course at your own premises – call Claire or Karen to find our more on 01756 700802.