Due to popular demand, we are pleased to announce that we are launching a brand new TACCP course.
What is TACCP?
TACCP stands for Threat Assessment Critical Control Points. It is a requirement under BRC 7 that food manufacturers should systems in place designed to help them become more resilient to food fraud, deliberate contamination and other types of attack within their supply chain.
HACCP takes steps to ensure that all potential hazards which could occur during the food production process are identified and addressed, it isn’t set up for intentional contamination. TACCP, on the other hand, focuses purely on assessing threats, identifying vulnerabilities and implementing controls to raw materials, packaging, finished products, processes, premises, distribution networks and business systems to prevent the intentional contamination of food and drink.
The course will comprise the following elements:
- Introduction to PAS96 (the stage prior to a British Standard) and TACCP
- TACCP Process and how to conduct a TACCP study
- Understanding the various forms of threats to a food business operation
- Understanding how to identify threats and assess risk
- Identifying control measures for security, premises, personnel, materials and processes
- Establishing contingency plans for recovery from attack
- Auditing and reviewing food defence procedures
The first TACCP course will take place at Verner Wheelock’s modern training facility in Skipton, North Yorkshire. In-house courses are also available. Please call 01756 700802 for more information and to book your place.
Types of threats to food businesses
Threats to food businesses can take various forms, many of which have been widely publicised.
Economically Motivated Adulteration
In Economically Motivated Adulteration the main aim of the protagonist is to make more money – it is not to harm the consumer, although illness and death may be a consequence. Good examples are the deliberate mislabelling of products; the substitution of a cheaper ingredient for a more expensive one; or passing off an inferior quality product as high quality. E.g. the horsegate scandal, spice adulteration etc. You can read more about this in our previous blog.
In this case the contamination is deliberate. It can be widespread or localised and is often used as a publicity tool, for extortion purposes, or to elicit a loss in company income through product recalls/clean-ups etc.
Another deliberate act where an attacker contaminates products to demand money from the manufacturer. The 1990 case where glass was put into baby food is a prime example of extortion.
Here a much inferior (and potentially dangerous) product is being passed off as being an established brand. This is particularly prevalent in the drinks industry.
Although less common, the theft of patented formulae or intellectual property is another potential threat.
This affects manufacturers, retailers and customers and generally takes the form of procurement fraud.
Where can the threat come from?
Companies need to take steps to guard against threats at every step of the food supply chain. People involved in food crimes range from disgruntled employees, irrational individuals, and opportunists looking to make a quick buck; to extortionists, extremists and even organised crime gangs.
Whilst it’s impossible to guarantee that food and food supply chains are not the target of criminal activity; TACCP processes can help to reduce the likelihood or consequences of a deliberate attack. This is achieved by:
- identifying specific threats to the company’s business;
- assessing the likelihood of an attack by considering the motivation of the prospective attacker, the vulnerability of the process, the opportunity and the capability they have of carrying out the attack;
- assessing the potential impact by considering the consequences of a successful attack;
- judging the priority to be given to different threats by comparing their likelihood and impact;
- deciding upon proportionate controls needed to discourage the attacker and give early notification of an attack; and
- maintaining information and intelligence systems to enable revision of priorities
By having a TACCP programme in place you are demonstrating that reasonable precautions are being taken and due diligence is being exercised in protecting your food products. In doing so you are protecting your company’s reputation and reassuring customers, trading partners, the press and the public that proportionate steps are in place to protect your food from intentional contamination and fraud.
The various methods for inhibiting food crime will be covered in detail on the course on July 3rd. Book now to avoid disappointment.