HACCP - Business Friend or Foe?

Essay by pesto72C, May 2006

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Introduction - what is HACCP?

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a preventive system of food quality control. It is a systematic and science based approach used in the food production (Pierson & Corlett: 1992; Leaper: 1997). When it is used properly, HACCP system may monitor any area or point in production chain that could be hazardous (contamination with pathogenic micro organisms, physical objects or chemicals) to overall product safety. The system is supposed to control the quality of raw materials, monitor production process and prepare directions for storage conditions for consumers (Pierson & Corlett: 1992) which would minimize the risk of food poisoning or any other food borne disease (Dillon & Griffith: 1996).

HACCP basic principles go back to 1959 when they were developed for NASA as a part of food production and research for the space programme (Pierson & Corlett: 1992). Ten, in 1971 the system was presented at the first American National Conference for Food Protection and since then the concept has been evolving to be accepted as a Codex Alimentarus in 1993 (Leaper: 1997).

Therefore, now the food industry is using an improved over years HACCP system that can identify microbiological, physical and chemical hazards, determine Critical Control Points, Critical Limits, Monitoring Procedures and Corrective Actions (Mayers: 1998).

To understand better the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point the key terms should be defined:

HAZARD - a potential to cause harm to consumer, for example:

- Bacteria (Salmonella, Listeria)

- Toxins (Aflatoxins)

- Viruses (Rotavirus)

- Parasites (Tapeworm)

- Foreign bodies (metal, glass)

- Biochemical changes (Histamine)

- Chemical (Pesticides)

RISK - the probability that the hazard will occur (on this ground one can divide hazards into severe and moderate).

CCP - (CRITICAL CONTROL POINT) a point or productive procedure at...