Do you know that eating contaminated food claims the life of 420,000 people annually? Moreover, these unsafe foods trigger a cruel chain of diseases when they enter the body and cause a great deal of harm to the human body.
We often think that maintaining proper hygiene is all we need to stay healthy but the reality is a bit different.
Nutrition, food safety and food security are all linked together and they represent HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). It is a globally known certification that deals in minimizing the risks of a safety hazard in food.
Additionally, any food that poses a threat to health is a food hazard. These hazards can be biological, chemical or physical as well.
Biological Food Hazard: It can cause illness when a bacteria or virus containing food is consumed.
Chemical Food Hazard: Any harmful chemicals in the food such as contaminated water, biocides, pesticides, and other contaminated food additives can cause illness.
Physical Food Hazard: Any leftover or accidental object/material in food is disastrous for fear that it can damage the internal organs of the body.
These are harmful food hazards that can shorten a person’s life or cause instant death too.
Here’s where HACCP certification comes into play to save the day.
What Is HACCP Certification?
It is a training program that helps a person identify, prevent and control the food hazards to ensure safe health. In simpler words, this training program will aid in identifying problems in the food ingredients, storing mechanisms, product packaging and provide a neat system to control how food is made, packed and stored.
But what’s the catch apart from improving the food quality? There is actually.
A HACCP certified personnel in a company/business will:
- Bring a drastic reduction among people falling ill due to disease-bearing food.
- Enhance the safety standards of food.
- Abides by the law.
- Create an organized system to produce safe food.
- Save money by reducing mistakes and mishaps.
- Reduce/eliminate the possibility of passing a poisonous substance in food accidentally.
That’s not all, a lot of businesses also make their employees undergo this certification so that they can comprehend how HACCP food safety works. Upon finishing this training, the person will be well equipped with knowledge on how to keep the food safe and improve the quality.
HACCP Principles To Know About
There are 7 important principles that makeup HACCP certification. Let’s learn about them:
Principle#1 – Analyzing A Hazard: To begin with, the first step in the HACCP training program involves conducting an evaluation if the food is safe. The certified professional looks for biological, chemical and physical hazards.
The food might contain poisonous toxins that spoil the food. It could occur due to metal contamination or due to following poor hygiene that allows viruses and bacteria to take shelter inside the food.
This principle (first step) will help the HACCP certified personnel to identify these problems. If such a hazard is identified, the concerned person will then evaluate the degree of risk associated with it.
Principle#2 – Identifying Critical Control Points
Once the hazard has been identified, the next step involves overcoming or getting rid of them. This is done by determining critical control points. Here, the associated person will mark critical points by doing various tasks that are relevant such as noting the temperature, measure ph, conducting a chemical test, etc.
When you’ve noted the critical points, measure the noted value and see if it falls between the maximum and minimum value. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know where the problem lies.
Principle#3 – Creating Critical Points Parameters
Here, you assign a parameter to each critical point so that to maintain control. Furthermore, these parameters are created by the FDA and FSIS, hence they need to be quantified and measured. Doing so helps in creating criteria to control the limit.
Principle#4 – Closely Monitoring Procedures
Following the critical point that you set in the above principle, close monitoring is required to ensure that everything is well maintained. In other words, this step is about observing the sequence/measurements at regular intervals to verify food safety accurately.
Usually, this step has three sub-steps:
- Keep a track of the control process.
- Identify loss of control or deviation.
- Prepare written documentation for everything (identification, control, monitoring, etc).
Principle#5 – Taking Corrective Measures
Equally important is this next step in consideration of the HACCP training which involves taking action if a critical point isn’t met. The goal of this step is to halt the food from reaching end users. The person is required to make use of the evaluation and correct the fault. Moreover, preventive steps and precautions must be taken to make sure that the same mistake doesn’t occur in the future.
Principle#6 – Documentation And Record Keeping
HACCP system asks to maintain a physical track record of the steps taken so far. One needs to write down the evaluation/identification, setting up critical points, monitoring procedures, taking action, etc.
It should contain:
- Summary of analysis.
- HACCP plan.
- Documentation that supports/justifies the steps.
- Address regular requirements.
- Keep track of the system operations.
Lastly, the written documentation should have proper details including product name, date, responsibilities assigned, item description, the consumer (if any), flow chart, a summary table, values of monitoring data, signature.
Principle#7 – Verification
Last but not least, every product must be verified and marked safe. It involves four steps.
- Validation: One should validate if the control points set will be enough to contain the hazard.
- Assurance: Assure that the procedures and operations are functioning properly.
- Reassurance: Run a two-three time periodical cycle of the above steps to reassure that monitoring is done accurately.
- Verification: In the end, verify that the plan is correct and effective.
These are the 7 principles that make HACCP training so useful.
HACCP Career Opportunities
Any person with a HACCP certification is eligible to work as a:
Supervisor (Avg Salary – $57,980): Responsible for monitoring food quality and making sure that production is safe.
QA Manager (Avg Salary – $71,008): The person can work as a Quality Assurance Manager. The responsibilities are to direct the staff to conduct safe practices etc.
Quality Manager (Avg Salary – $74.036): To ensure that the quality of products meets customer demands, advising and directing fellow employees, setting up quality standards, etc.
Not to mention other career opportunities which include working as a food safety manager, sous chef, plant manager, production manager, QC manager, HACCP Checker, Quality Specialist, Manufacturing analyst, Quality assurance technician and many more.
HACCP Certification for Food Establishments
HACCP Training is useful as it will not only raise the quality standards of a business but will help in gaining recognition and building a trusted brand name with consumers. Select your state from the drop down menu below to enroll and make an impact with your food establishment today!
Food Safety HACCP for Retail Food Establishments – International HACCP Alliance
Name: International HACCP Alliance
Website URL: https://www.haccpalliance.org/sub/index.html
Address: 12 Rosenthal Center 2471 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2471 00