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WHAT IS HACCP AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

HI EVERY ONE,

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HACCP PROGRAM AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU THE CONSUMER…I HAVE GATHERED SOME INFORMATION AND HERE IT IS…

 

WHAT IS HACCP AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

HACCP, STANDS FOR HAZARD ANALYSIS CRITICAL CONTROL POINT SYSTEM, IT IS A PROCESS CONTROL SYSTEM THAT IDENTIFIES WHERE HAZARDS MIGHT OCCUR IN THE FOOD PRODUCTION PROCESS AND PUTS INTO PLACE STRINGENT ACTIONS TO TAKE TO PREVENT THE HAZARDS FROM OCCURING.  BY STRICKLY MONITORING AND CONTROLLING EACH STEP OF THE PROCESS, THERE IS LESS CHANCE FOR HAZARDS TO OCCUR.

 

WHY IS HACCP IMPORTANT?

HACCP IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT PRIORITIZES AND CONTROLS POTENTIAL HAZARDS IN FOOD PRODUCTION.  BY CONTROLLING MAJOR FOOD RISKS, SUCH AS CHEMICAL, AND PHYSICAL CONTAMINANTS AND ALSO MICROBIOLOGICAL.  THE INDUSTRY CAN BETTER ASSURE CONSUMERS THAT IT’S PRODUCTS ARE AS SAFE AND AS GOOD AS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS.  BY REDUCING FOODBORNE HAZARDS, PUBLIC HEALTH IS STREGTHENED.

 

WHAT ARE THE MAJOR FOOD HAZARDS?

CONSUMERS ARE CONCERNED PRIMARILY ABOUT CHEMICAL RESIDUES, SUCH AS FROM PESTICIDES, AND ANTIBIOTICS.  THESE HAZARDS ARE NEARLY NON-EXISTENT.  THE MORE SIGNIFICANT HAZARDS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY ARE MOCROBIOLOGICAL CONTAMINANTS SUCH AS SALMONELLA, E. COLI-0157:H7, LISTERIA, CAMPYLOBACTER AND CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM.  HACCP IS DESIGNED TO FOCUS ON AND CONTROL THE MOST SIGNIFICANT HAZARDS.

 

HOW CAN CONSUMERS USE HACCP ?

AS A CONSUMER YOU CAN IMPLEMENT HACCP LIKE PRACTICES AT HOME BY FOLLOWING PROPER HANDLING, STORAGE, CLEANING, AND COOKING PROCEDURES FROM THE TIME YOU PURCHASE MEAT OR POULTRY FROM THE STORE TO THE TIME YOU COOK AND SERVE A MEAL. THERE ARE MANY STEPS TO TAKE TO ENSURE FOOD SAFETY. EXAMPLES: REFRIGERATE MEAT AND POULTRY, KEEP RAW MEAT AND POULTRY SEPERATE FROM COOKED AND READY-TO-EAT FOODS,  THOUROUGHLY COOKING MEAT AND POULTRY REFRIDGERATING AND COOKING LEFTOVERS TO PREVENT BACTERIAL GROWTH.

 

HOW DOES HACCP WORK IN FOOD PRODUCTION ?

THERE ARE SEVEN PRINCIPALES DELVELOPED BY THE NATIONAL ADVISORY CONNITTEE ON MOCROBIOLOGICAL CRITERIA FOR FOODS THAT SERVE AS THE FOUNDATION FOR A HACCP SYSTEM. 

THEY ARE:

1) CONDUCT A HAZARD ANALYSIS TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL HAZARDS THAT COULD OCCUR IN THE FODD PRODUCTION PROCESS.

2) IDENTIFY THE CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS (CCPs)–THOSE POINTS IN THE PROCESS WHERE THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS COULD OCCUR AND CAN BE PREVENTED AND/OR CONTROLLED.

3) ESTABLISH CRITICAL LIMITS FOR PREVENTIVE MEASURES ASSOCIATED WITH EACH CCP. A CRITICAL LIMIT IS A CRITERION THAT MUST BE MET FOR EACH CCP.  WHERE APPROPRIATE, CRITICAL LIMITS MAY REFLECT RELEVANT FSIS REGULATIONS AND FDA TOLERANCES.

 

4) ESTABLISH CCP MONITORING REQUIREMENTS TO ENSURE EACH CCP STAYS WITHIN ITS LIMIT.  MONITORING MAY REQUIRE MATERIALS OR DEVICES TO MEASURE OR OTHERWISE EVALUATE THE PROCESS AT CCP’S.

 

5) ESTABLISH CORRECTIVE ACTIONS  IF MONITORING DETERMINES A CCP IS NOT WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED LIMITS.  IN CASE A PROBLEM OCCURS, CORRECTIVE ACTIONS MUST BE IN PLACE TO ENSURE NO PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARD OCCURS.

 

6) ESTABLISH EFFECTIVE RECORDKEEPING PROCEDURES THAT DOUCEMENT THE HACCP SYSTEM IS WORKING PROPERLY.  RECORDS SHOULD DOCUMENT CCP PMOITORING, VERIFICATION ACTIVITIES AND DEVIATION RECORDS.

 

7) ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR VERIFYING THAT THE HACCP SYSTEM IS WORKING PROPERLY.  VERIFICATION PROCEDURES MAY INCLUDE REVIEWING THE HACCP PLAN, CCP RECORDS, CRITICAL LIMITS AS WELL AS CONDUCTING MICROBIOLOGICAL SAMPLING.  BOTH PLANT PERSONNEL AND FSIS INSPECTORS WILL CONDUCT VERIFICATION ACTIVITIES.

 

HOW WOULD HACCP BE APPLIED FROM FARM TO TABLE ?

FOR THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTAION OF HACCP, IT SHOULD BE APPLIED FROM THE FARM TO THE TABLE–STARING ON THE FARM AND ENDING WITH THE INDIVIDUAL PREPARING THE FOOD, WHETHER IN A RESTRAUNT OR HOME.  ON THE FARM THER ARE ACTIONS THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO PREVENT CONTAMINATION FROM OCCURING, SUCH AS MONITORING FEED, MAINTAINING FARM SANITATION, AND PRICTICING GOOD ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.

IN THE PLANT, CONTAMINATION MUST BE PREVENTED DURING SLAUGHTER AND PROCESSING.  ONCE MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCT LEAVE THE PLANT, THER SHOULD BE CONTROLS IN PLACE DURING TRANSPORTATION, STORAGE, AND DISTRIBUTION.

IN RETAIL STORES, PROPER SANTITATION, REFRIGERATION, STORAGE AND HANDLING PRACTICES WILL PREVENT CONTAMINATION.  FINALLY IN RESTRAUNTS, FOOD SERVICE AND HOMES, FOOD HANDLERS MUST STORE, HANDLE AND COOK FOODS PROPERLY TO ENSURE FOOD SAFETY.