Introduction to HACCP
What is HACCP?
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic approach to prevent food safety hazards from occurring during the course of food production. Essentially, it is a food safety system consisting of two main components: the pre-requisite programs and the HACCP plan.
What are Pre-requisite Programs?
Pre-requisite programs are the universal steps or procedures that control the operational conditions within a food establishment, allowing for an environment favourable to the production of safe food. There are seven pre-requisite programs with 50 bullets that must be addressed, including:
An up-to-date list of the pre-requisite programs can be found in the CFIA's (Canadian Food Inspection Agency's) Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP) Manual.
What is a HACCP Plan?
The HACCP Plan is a written document that shows the formal HACCP procedures to be followed by an individual plant or establishment. The HACCP plan is specific to the product and process at the establishment. Essentially, the company takes all ingredients and processing steps to make a specific product and lists any hazard (biological, chemical and physical) that may occur at each step. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has 10 forms which make up a HACCP Plan, which can be found on the CFIA website, along with generic HACCP plan models. It is not mandatory that a facility uses the CFIA forms when creating their HACCP plan; however, all the information must be included in the format you implement. If generic models are used for assistance when writing your HACCP plan, make sure you reference them at the beginning of your HACCP plan.
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