The HACCP system (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is a System of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, which deals with ensuring food safety, so that it is free from contamination with physical, chemical, biological and microbiological agents. This system has long been the focus of attention of state supervision, producers and consumers. To meet this requirement, traditional supervision over the production of food of an inspection and command character is gradually replaced by a form of corrective, preventive and improvement actions. This led to the development and subsequent dissemination of the principles of the HACCP system.
The aim of this system is to ensure that food supplied to consumers is safe and healthy (food protection). This system was introduced in the US on the order of NASA, commissioned by the food program for the space program "Apollo". Currently, food production units are covered by this program and must comply with the rules contained therein. The amended Act on food and nutrition health conditions defines the HACCP system as: "proceedings aimed at ensuring food safety by identifying and estimating the scale from the point of view of food health quality and risk of hazards during all stages of the food production and marketing process; to determine the methods for mitigating hazards and determining corrective actions.
Principles of the HACCP system
The HACCP system is based on seven principles:
- Recognition and thorough analysis of potential threats - this principle consists in developing a list of potential threats, identifying harmful factors, assessing the risks of these threats and applying preventive measures.
- Determination of critical CPP (Critical Control Points), which is the place in the technological process, where it is possible to apply controls to detect, reduce or best eliminate the threat to guarantee food safety.
- Setting limits on critical points, which are determined by: using legal provisions, relying on accepted industry standards, seeking knowledge in professional literature or adjusting criteria to individual customer needs.
- Implementation of the monitoring system - this stage is primarily dedicated to the control of CPP critical points, each point has specific parameters that are constantly checked and monitored by designated operators. Thanks to systematic control, the system is characterized by a quick response to sudden changes and immediate reaction to protect food from the threat.
- Determination of corrective actions - thanks to them we can improve the operation of the system and detect errors or threats, which will improve the quality of products. Corrective actions are implemented when the monitoring system shows that the critical limits are exceeded.
- Setting verification rules to determine the effectiveness of the system - such a check of the effectiveness of the system usually takes place once a year and is carried out by outsiders. The verification system is influenced by: records of critical control points, audits on the functioning of HACCP, microbiological testing of the final product.
- Development and completion of documentation, which consists of internal documents of the system, that is the HACCP plan and GMP and GHP instructions; external documents: laws and regulations on HACCP and operations; internal records: forms or registers, as well as external records, i.e. certificates.
Quality assurance processes in HACCP
The essential processes that decide on guaranteeing the quality of a food product include:
- marketing activities (with particular emphasis on researching the needs and preferences of buyers and providing reliable information about products during their promotion),
- design (connected with defining the assumptions of quality features of products and their manufacturing processes as well as the content of information on the packaging),
- shopping (selection of appropriate suppliers of perpetrators and auxiliary materials for manufacturing processes),
- production (supervision of appropriate production conditions),
- inspection and testing (raw materials, packaging of semi-finished products and finished products),
packaging and storage,
- terms of sale (in wholesalers, retail establishments and eating places),
- liquidation after use (the possibility of liquidation of packaging and packaging remnants as well as post-production packaging).
- Jin, S., Zhou, J., & Ye, J. (2008). Adoption of HACCP system in the Chinese food industry: A comparative analysis. Food Control, 19(8), 823-828.
- Bertolini, M., Rizzi, A., & Bevilacqua, M. (2007). An alternative approach to HACCP system implementation. Journal of Food Engineering, 79(4), 1322-1328.
- Bai, L., Ma, C. L., Yang, Y. S., Zhao, S. K., & Gong, S. L. (2007). Implementation of HACCP system in China: A survey of food enterprises involved. Food Control, 18(9), 1108-1112.