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    Saturday, November 28, 2015

September 2012

What is HACCP?

HACCP is the abbreviation for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. HACCP is a systematic approach to prevent food safety hazards that may occur during food production. Essentially, it is a food safety system consisting of two main components: the pre-requisite programs and the HACCP plan.

What is the difference between GMPs and HACCP?

GMPs are Good Manufacturing Practices, while HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. GMPs are the first steps to HACCP. GMPs are similar to Pre-requisite Programs. 

GMPs + more detail - manufacturing controls (as these are part of the HACCP plan) = Pre-requisite Programs.  GMPs are also often associated with quality products being produced, while HACCP deals strictly with food safety.









Manufacturing controls

Operational Pre-requisite programs and part of hazard analysis - HACCP Plan




Record Keeping is fundamental to all pre-requisite and hazard analysis



Receiving & Storage

Transportation, Purchasing, Receiving, Shipping and Storage

What are Pre-Requisite Programs?

Pre-requisite programs are the universal steps or procedures that control the operational conditions within a food establishment and create an environment favourable to the production of safe food.  There are six pre-requisite programs including:

  • Premises - Building exterior, building interior, sanitary facilities and water/steam/ice quality and supply;
  • Transportation, Receiving & Storage - Transportation (food carriers, temperature control) and Receiving & Storage (incoming material receiving and storage, non-food chemicals receiving and storage, finished product storage);
  • Equipment - Design and installation, and equipment maintenance and calibration;
  • Personnel - General food hygiene training, technical training, hygiene and health requirements (cleanliness and conduct, communicable diseases / injury);
  • Sanitation & Pest Control - Sanitation procedures, pest control procedures
  • Recall - Recall program (complaint procedure, mock recall procedure, as well as recall procedure and personnel responsible), product code identification and distribution details.
  • Operational Pre-requisite Programs - allergen control programs, food additives and nutrient and food processing aids.

I am a small processor selling product within Saskatchewan.  Am I required to implement HACCP?

No, you are not required by law to implement HACCP.  However, as your company grows, you may find that some customers require you to have a HACCP system in place, or at a minimum GMPs. Also, depending upon the commodity produced at your facility, you may be required to become CFIA approved if you wish to sell product outside of the province. 

Why should I implement HACCP in my facility?

There are many savings associated with HACCP, including:

  • Expansion of customer base;
  • Increased food safety audit scores;
  • Reduction in down time;
  • Reduction in product testing;
  • Reduction in customer complaints;
  • Earlier releasing of products;
  • Facilitation of inter provincial and international trade.

What is the difference between HACCP and Quality Control/Assurance?

HACCP deals with food safety, while Quality Control or Quality Assurance deals with product specifications or requirements by a customer not related to food safety.  For example, if you are producing a Ready To Eat product, the temperature you cook the product to is a HACCP requirement.  The colour, texture, and size of the product would be quality control or quality assurance specifications or requirements.

Where can I get HACCP, GMP, or Food Safety Training?

The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc.
Telephone: (306) 933-7555

Offered through Kelsey SIAST Campus (Processing Food Safely - SANT 184)
Telephone: (306) 933-8344 or 1-866-GOSIAST

Guelph Food Technology Centre
Telephone: (519) 821-1246

Alberta Food Processors
Telephone: (403) 201-3657
Telephone: (780) 444-2272

What is the difference between Monitoring, Verification and Validation?

  • Monitoring is the process of checking to ensure a pre-determined set of standards or requirements are met: for example, monitoring the internal temperature of the product to ensure it reaches a set point determined in your HACCP System. 
  • Verification is the process of ensuring the monitor is following the correct procedures and all requirements are met.  Record verification would require a different person than the monitor to review the records to ensure all limits were met and the records are complete.  Onsite verification is when someone observes the monitor completing the task to ensure they are following the correct procedures as outlined in the written program.
  • Validation is the process of proving that what is being monitored is controlling the hazard.  For example, you may validate that cooking to 71°C will kill E.coli 0157:H7 in your product.

What are generic models and how can they benefit me?

Generic models are generalized HACCP plans designed for a specific product or product category. Generic models can be used as an example or guideline for developing a plant specific HACCP plan.  However, HACCP plans must be specific to your facility and process; therefore, a generic model can only be used to guide you in the right direction when writing your plant specific HACCP plan.  For example, you may be required to add or remove processing steps, ingredients, or hazards identified in the generic model. You may also find that some steps do not apply to your process. If you use a generic model to assist you in the development of your plant specific HACCP plan, make sure you reference the use of the generic model.  You can find generic models on the CFIA website.

How long does it take to implement HACCP?

HACCP can take anywhere from a couple of months to a few years to implement.  It will depend on the resources available for the development and implementation of the system.

What are the costs associated with implementing HACCP?

There are several costs of implementing HACCP, including:

  • Development of HACCP system - may be contracted out or completed internally;
  • May require some upgrades in facility;
  • Ongoing monitoring and verification costs - employee time;
  • Training time for employees;
  • Costs to validate system and prove its effectiveness;
  • Costs associated with auditing;
  • Costs associated with reviewing and updating system

Who is responsible if a company has a recall under a HACCP system? Is it the auditor or the company?

The HACCP System belongs to the company.  When an auditor comes into a facility, they are taking a "snap shot in time" view of the HACCP system. So, the company is responsible for their HACCP system.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Bettschen
Saskatchewan Agriculture
(306) 787-5120

Related Links

Food Safety Enhancement Program Manual, Chapter 3: Recognition of an stablishment's System

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