The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point HACCP
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Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a tool that can be useful in the prevention of food safety hazards. While extremely important, HACCP is only one part of a multi-component food safety system. HACCP is not a stand alone program. Other parts must include: good manufacturing practices, sanitation standard operating procedures, and a personal hygiene program. Safety of the food supply is key to consumer confidence. In the past, periodic plant inspections and sample testing have been used to ensure the quality and safety of food products. Inspection and testing, however, are like a photographic snapshot. They provide information about the product that is relevant only for the specific time the product was inspected and tested. What happened before or after? That information is not known! From a public health and safety point of view, these traditional methods offer little protection or assurance. New concepts have emerged which are far more promising for controlling food safety hazards from production to consumption. HACCP was introduced as a system to control safety as the product is manufactured, rather than trying to detect problems by testing the finished product. This new system is based on assessing( ( the natural hazards or risks in a particular product or process and designing a system to control them. Specific points where the hazards can be controlled in the process are identified. The HACCP system has been successfully applied in the food industry. The system fits in well with modern quality and management techniques. It is especially compatible with the ISO 9000 quality assurance system and just in time delivery of ingredients. In this environment, manufacturers are assured of receiving quality products matching their specifications. There is little need for special receiving tests and usually time does not allow for wide quality tests.