|HACCP or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points is the international standard which was
established for preventing hazards that could cause food-borne illnesses by applying
science-based controls, from raw material to finished products. Our new processing facility
has been HACCP Certified by Primus Labs.
HACCP involves seven principles:
- Analyze hazards. Potential hazards associated with a food and measures to control those
hazards such as ground glass or metal fragments.
- Identify critical control points. These are points in a food's production-from its raw state
through processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer-at which the potential
hazard can be controlled or eliminated. Examples are cooking, cooling, packaging, and metal
- Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point. For a cooked food,
for example, this might include setting the minimum cooking temperature and time
required to ensure the elimination of any harmful microbes.
- Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points. Such procedures might include
determining how and by whom cooking time and temperature should be monitored.
- Establish corrective actions to be taken when monitoring shows that a critical limit has not
been met. For example, reprocessing or disposing of food if the minimum cooking
temperature is not met.
- Establish procedures to verify that the system is working properly. For example, testing
time-and-temperature recording devices to verify that a cooking unit is working properly.
- Establish effective recordkeeping to document the HACCP system. This would include
records of hazards and their control methods, the monitoring of safety requirements and
action taken to correct potential problems. Each of these principles must be backed by sound
scientific knowledge: for example, published microbiological studies on time and
temperature factors for controlling food borne pathogens.
New challenges to the U.S. food supply have prompted FDA to consider adopting a HACCP-based food
safety system on a wider basis. One of the most important challenges is the increasing number of
new food pathogens. For example, between 1973 and 1988, bacteria not previously recognized as
important causes of food-borne illness-such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella
enteritidis-became more widespread.
There also is increasing public health concern about chemical contamination of food: for example, the
effects of lead in food on the nervous system.
Another important factor is that the size of the food industry and the diversity of products and
processes have grown tremendously, both in the amount of domestic food manufactured and the
number and kinds of foods imported. At the same time, FDA and state and local agencies have the
same limited level of resources to ensure food safety.
The need for HACCP in the United States is further fueled by the growing trend in international
trade for worldwide equivalence of food products and the Codex Alimentarious Commission's adoption
of HACCP as the international standard for food safety.
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