“Don’t touch that polony or the sausage, or everything else in the freezer . These were the chilling words that a mum firmly announced after watching the news and learning about the Listeriosis out break from certain branded processed meat products. The number of sick and fatalities were increasing, no need to risk becoming part of those statistics, right ?
So what’s up my young Uchiha’s. I find myself writing another food related blog which is quite a feat, considering I’m fitting this in between my inspiration and opinionated blogs as well as a youtube tabla cover that I’m working on. Not to mention the online story I’m working on… (If you haven’t read it, plllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz do). Now onto the blog whilst I listen to a Celine Dion compilation (It’s currently playing “Hush now……….A new day hast come”).
So, what is HACCP? Well HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, and by reference of the Codex, HACCP is a mandatory safety and quality procedure that must be followed by all food firms and manufacturers, including packing firms and manufacturers related to the food field. The Codex is probably a very thick book if you’re wondering about it, you could describe it as the Bhagvada Gita of Food Safety and Quality. I know I probably should go into more detail as to what it is, and I think I promised to in a previous blog, but uhm maybe I’ll leave it for another blog because it’s as Celine Dion is singing “ When you want it the most, there’s no easy way out, don’t give up on your faith, love comes to those who believe it, and that’s the way it is”. So yeah, have faith and believe that I will.
Getting back to HACCP, there are 7 principle steps to it and is as follows:
- Investigation into hazards
- Defining critical control points and controls to put in place
- Defining critical limits
- Defining an effective monitoring procedure of critical control points and control
- Define corrective action to be taken in case of failure of controls
- Verification procedure
- Record keeping
So just to explain some terms to you to better help understand HACCP. For the sake of this blog, I’m simplifying my definitions to save time. A hazard is something that is harmful to a person, namely the consumer. Hazards can be:
Physical: Broken glass, metal
Biological: Bacteria, fungi
Chemical: Strong acids and alkali
Critical control points are certain points of a process where a contamination is most likely to occur, where the risk of a hazard is extremely high or unavoidable. Critical limits are set for critical control points and are a certain value or limit that a hazard is not allowed to exceed. Corrective action are the steps that must be taken in order to remedy or deal with situations in which hazards exceed the acceptable limit and become a potential risk for the process itself, for employees and consumers. Controls can be defined as measures put into place to limit, reduce or eliminate hazards.
So you might be wondering as to why HACCP is so golden? Well, HACCP is more of a quality assurance tool rather than a quality control tool. What’s the difference you ask? Well, QA is performed during a process to limit hazards while QC is performed on more or less the finished product to check for potential risks. Both QA and QC are important, but QA is helpful in the sense that it helps to limit mistakes to earlier stages of the process to reduce costs, resources and prevent damage of company brand and reputation. QC should be there as a way to double check to ensure that product and service standards are up held.
Ending the blog here, would be fine, but I did title this with ISO 22000 in the title, and as Celine Dion is singing ”I drove all night to make love to you, is that alright”, so I guess I’mma blog all night. Before moving onto the next part of the blog, it’s important to know that trained HACCP staff are in charge of ensuring that HACCP procedures are carried out properly.
Now moving onto ISO 22000, which stands for the” International Organization of Standardization”. It basically adopts a “farm to fork” safety approach which basically implies, implementation of safety standards from the raw material stage to the time a consumer indulges in the product itself. The key elements that are responsible for the success of ISO are:
- Interactive communication
- System management
- Pre requisite programmes
- HACCP principles
For the sake of my laziness, I am not going over HACCP principles again. Also I’m going to focus mainly on these elements. The Food Supply Chain is made up of suppliers, manufacturers, farmers, consumers, basically anyone who interacts directly or indirectly with the product or the process, as well as the different stages of the food process itself. Communication between these parties are essential to better understand and deal with hazards. Better controls can be implemented based on findings, patterns can be identified that were previously missed as well an improvement in more cost effective solutions and better distribution of resources and money.
In terms of system management, the questions that need to be addressed aren’t just how can these standards be implemented? But also how can these standards be integrated to better fit food manufacturers and firms as well as to be combined with existing food safety standards in a manner that is practical, that is able to add some kind of value in terms of safety and quality without being an unnecessary repetition of empty senseless rules.
Pre requisite programmes are basically similar to HACCP and are mandatory as they ensure food safety and quality of products. They are slightly different from HACCP in the sense that they are run throughout the food supply chain and therefore serve as both a QA and QC tool. These Pre requisite programmes make up the purpose and objectives of ISO. ISO ensures that food safety can be measured, assessed and improved. That it can be communicated to consumers, stakeholders, shareholders and employees alike. To allow for some kind of statistical representation of safety and quality.
There are other aspects of ISO like documentation, record keeping, controls, monitoring procedures, general requirements etc. It’s a lot of technicalities that you can read the document to find out about. I really am tired and I just want to add my anime pics, plus this Celine Dion compilation is almost over sooooo…………….
Hope you learned something from this blog, until next time my young Uchiha’s