The Importance of the HACCP Certification
Food safety is an issue that impacts everyone. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports, each year, one in every six Americans, or 48,000,000 will be sickened by a foodborne illness deriving from an estimated 250 pathogens. More than 125,000 will end up hospitalized. HACCP Certification is an important tool in ensuring these numbers decrease and the products we consume are safe and healthy.
What Is HACCP Compliance?
The HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) system establishes safety guidelines those involved in the food production or service industries are expected to follow. Seven core principles are key to HACCP Certification. These include:
* Analyzing and establishing what potential biological, chemical or physical environments have on food products. Specific examples of chemical substances include pesticides, while bacterial contaminants like Salmonella and E-Coli are biological hazards.
* Establishing critical control points. Hazards can occur at any stage of food production. HACCP standards teach food industry professionals how to identify them.
* Creating important limits by which food is prepared, such as appropriate cooking temperatures and time lengths necessary for specific products to be consumed safely.
* Establishing a system, which monitors critical control points.
* Putting forth corrective measures that address when steps in the process go awry and measures to notify consumers in as organized and fast a method possible.
* Creating a system to ensure HACCP practices work effectively.
* Establishing an organized system of documentation and records keeping.
The HACCP Food Safety Certification governs many food products consumed by the public, including, but not limited to beverages, produce, seafood, meat and poultry.
In addition to the HACCP system, the ISO Standard (International Standard) also provides guidelines designed to establish food safety regulations. Though many of ISO’s principles are similar to that of HACCP, the ISO standard encourages rules be created through communication and organization amongst all entities involved in the food production chain.
Why Is The HACCP Food Safety Certification Important?
In most cases, a properly functioning HACCP system is expected for any entity participating in the food production business to be considered reputable and trade worthy. In certain countries, like the United States and European Union members, HACCP compliance is mandatory. In addition, a working HACCP program can prevent costly mistakes that can lead to loss of revenue and have an adverse impact on consumers.
How Does A Business Become HACCP Certified?
An individual or company seeking certification must obtain it from a Certified HACCP Auditor, as established by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. The Auditor visits a particular business and offers an on-site inspection, which can take anywhere from one to five days, often depending upon the entity’s size.
Items the Auditor will examine depend upon the type of business being run and the scope of the study. Issues that may be covered include, but are not limited to:
* Hygiene practiced by a company’s employees.
* The overall cleanliness of a facility and its grounds.
* Employed pest control measures
* Safety, efficiency, cleanliness and upkeep of equipment used to prepare and/or process food
* How safely are products being secured
* How well are transportation vehicles being maintained
President, Ledge Inc.
Adam is a Penn State engineer that has served as a Data Analyst and Engineer at St. Onge Company for 5 years, prior to establishing Ledge Inc. While maintaining a focus on simple solutions, Ledge Inc. has provided quality system implementation, process design, database development, quality tools, quality training, and data analysis to over 35 companies in South Central Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Adam currently serves as the sitting Chair for American Society for Quality Harrisburg Section 503 and as a member of the board for The Manufacturers’ Associations of South Central PA.