What Is HACCP?
Hazard Compliance - How To Get certified
Having a great HACCP plan in your facility is one thing; certification is another. More customers prefer to work with facilities that have their HACCP certification, as it verifies that the food processing and handling meet all of our country's compliance standards
HACCP Explained: Understanding Hazard Analysis
It has seven principles:
- Conduct a Hazard Analysis: This identifies potential hazards that could occur in the production process.
- Identify Critical Control Points: This step recognizes and classes the critical control points (CCPs) where potential hazards could happen.
- Establish Critical Limits: "Critical limits" standard that must be met for each CCP, and they may be based on CFIA rules and regulations.
- Monitor Critical Control Points: These make sure that each CCP stays within its limit. The materials and devices identified as CCPs may require measuring or other evaluations to understand the process.
- Establish Corrective Actions: If the audit identifies a problem with a CCP, the facility must put corrective action into place to prevent any potential no health hazards.
- Establish Record Keeping Procedures: Records document the HACCP system to ensure that it works properly, and can be used during the surveillance audit.
- Establish Verification Procedures: Verification may involve examining all parts of the HACCP plan, including CCP records, critical limits, and regular microbial sampling. These can be conducted by inspectors and qualified plant personnel.
The seven steps of this hazard analysis identify any physical, chemical, and biological hazards that may pose a risk to your food product. It also ascertains the control measures you need to implement to reduce, eliminate and prevent the hazards identified to an acceptable level, as required under section 47 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.
How Do You Achieve HACCP Certification?
To become HACCP certified, you need to successfully pass a third-party certification audit provided by a qualified food safety auditor. They use the seven principles to validate your HACCP system against your documentation. Once you pass, you’ll receive a certificate along with instructions for marketing yourself as a HACCP-certified organization.
How Long Does An HACCP Audit Take?
Depending on the scope of the inspection and the size of the facility, HACCP audits generally take between one and five days. Once the initial certification audit is complete, your facility must also pass a two-year surveillance audit. Your certification body may or may not tell you about the surveillance audit in advance. So, you need to keep your HACCP standards up-to-date at all times.
Do I Need HACCP Certification?
Depending on your business and location, HACCP can be necessary for the operation of a food processing and handling facility. For example, in Canada, HACCP became mandatory for federally registered meat and poultry establishments in 2005. But even in parts of the industry where it's not necessary, HACCP certification is never a bad thing.
Even if you're not in a part of the food supply chain where these standards are necessary, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recommends that all businesses adopt HACCP processing standards.
Why Is HACCP So Important?
Having HACCP certification is necessary for getting other certifications like Safe Food Quality (SQF) and Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards (BRCGS). Food processing and handling facilities have many potential hazards, from cleaning chemicals to bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The only way to protect customers, the public, your business and yourself from these hazards is through food safety training, education, and constant check-ups and recordkeeping.
Quantum Food Solutions is a leader in food safety audits and consultancy, including for HACCP. See how we deliver Practitioner Training, offer templates for your HACCP program, and read our guide to how you can start the process in your facility.