TACCP and VACCP
All food manufacturing and production carries a certain degree of risk. That’s why we have food safety regulations and certain industry standards which must be adhered to. We put risk management systems in place, such as HACCP which is there to prevent food-borne illnesses and accidental hazards. Through an effective HACCP system critical control points, where the risk to food safety is high, can be identified and measures put in place to ensure that the end product is safe to eat.
Food fraud – deliberate adulteration
Nowadays, it’s not simply enough to have a fully-documented HACCP system. The horsemeat scandal of 2013, brought into sharp focus the very real threat of food fraud. Since the meat used for items such as lasagne and beef burgers was minced it was not easy to identify as another species. Whilst eating horsemeat is not dangerous, the fact that it was being ‘passed off’ as something else was of grave concern. We have also seen other much more dangerous substitutions hitting the headlines. For example, baby milk being adulterated with melamine in China.
Food manufacturers and producers need to be on their guard against the threat of food fraud and need to assess their vulnerability to it. They need to be able to trace and verify that ingredients are authentic throughout the supply chain. TACCP – which stands for Threat Assessment Critical Control Points – is now an essential part of food safety management and is required under BRC Issue 7.
The difference between threats,
risks and vulnerability
There is a distinct difference between threats, vulnerability and risk. ‘Risk’ is generally data-driven and has occurred previously. ‘Threat’ is the chance of a risk occurring. ‘Vulnerability’ is a weakness which can lead to a risk. In other words, it’s a chink in the armour which somebody can exploit. They may want to make a greater profit – e.g. by substituting one ingredient for a cheaper one. Or their intentions could be more sinister.
TACCP and VACCP training to meet BRC Issue 7 clause 5.4
We run TACCP and VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points) workshops on consecutive days because essentially they go hand-in-hand. Product authenticity and the assessment of vulnerability both need to be demonstrated to satisfy the requirements of BRC Issue 7 Clause 5.4.
The TACCP and VACCP workshops will give you the knowledge and tools you need to conduct threat and vulnerability assessments on raw materials. They will also enable you to identify control measures for security, premises, personnel, materials and processes and establish appropriate preventative measures. You will be able to identify the different types of fraud, their likelihood, impact and severity. Both workshops include exercises, group tasks and discussion. As with all our courses, we endeavour to include examples of direct relevance to our delegates’ businesses.
TACCP and VACCP are about more than BRC compliance
Many manufacturers will attend training because TACCP and VACCP are required for BRC Issue 7. But being able to identify, prevent and mitigate fraud within the supply chain has other far-reaching benefits. It will help to protect consumer and customer confidence in your brand. Also, it will protect public health from inferior or potentially dangerous ingredients (remember, supplier adulteration of ingredients could also mean that your product now contains allergens). Important from a business point of view, it will prevent financial losses caused by product recalls, or prosecution.
Our next VACCP and TACCP workshops run on 26th and 27th September. There are still some places left, so if you’d like to attend, please contact Claire. Tel 01756 700802 or click here to find out more.