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Why bother with HACCP?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally-recognised food safety management system for ensuring product safety and is used for the prevention of product safety incidents. It doesn’t replace good hygiene practices or existing documentation, but it is most effective when built on this foundation. A successful HACCP plan is also dependent on an established pre-requisites programme and positive employee engagement across the board.

Is HACCP a legal requirement?

So if you already have food safety practices in place, why bother with a HACCP plan? Well, firstly it is a legal requirement if you are a large company producing food for sale and consumption. Every major food retailer insists on HACCP management throughout the food chain because they want to be certain that the food they are selling to their customers has been produced under strict controls to ensure safety, particularly if it is an own brand product exhibiting their label.

HACCP identifies and addresses food safety hazards

Having a HACCP plan in place enables you to identify Critical Control Points during the production process i.e. steps at which control of microbiological, physical, chemical or allergenic hazards is needed in order to reduce it to acceptable levels. For example, control measures such as heating to 70°C or above to destroy pathogenic bacteria; sieving or using metal detectors, temperature control etc. This systematic step-by-step process produces a documented system which increases confidence from those buying your products and demonstrates management commitment to safe food practices.

Effective cost control and demonstrates due diligence

HACCP is also an effective cost and resource control system. Since every point at which a potential hazard could occur is covered it means less wastage and rework and when implemented effectively, should prevent product recalls on food safety grounds. In the event of an investigation or an audit, a well maintained and up-to-date HACCP plan is a Due Diligence Defence. In other words it will demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid a breach of food safety and hygiene laws.

HACCP monitoring and review

To ensure that your HACCP plan is effective you will need to monitor and review it regularly. It is absolutely essential to keep the plan up-to-date. Production lines can be changed and products can be re-formulated and so the HACCP plan must also be updated. Even something as seemingly insignificant as reducing the amount of fat or sugar in order to produce a ‘healthier’ product can affect food safety if the effects have not been considered.

HACCP training courses in Yorkshire

We offer a variety of HACCP courses from Level 2 HACCP training for operatives to Level 3 HACCP and Level 4 HACCP training courses for HACCP team members, supervisors and technical managers. Plus our 1-day HACCP  Refresher training course. For details of all our HACCP training courses visit www.vwa.co.uk/courses/haccp/haccp-courses.php

View our latest training calendar here