Determine Your Food Safety Hazards
One of the most important steps in ensuring food safety is to identify which food safety hazards are significant for your product. This step allows you to focus your efforts on reducing or eliminating the most significant hazards. There are a number of factors to consider when determining which hazards are significant, including the severity of the hazard, the probability that it will occur, and its potential impact on public health.
In general, food safety hazards can be divided into two categories- biological (e.g., bacteria, viruses, parasites) and chemical (e.g., toxins, contaminants). Some hazards may also fall into both categories (e.g., E. coli O157-H7). To further complicate matters, some hazards may be present in food but not pose a risk to human health (e.g., dirt), while others may not be present in food but could pose a risk if they were introduced during processing or handling (e.g., cleaning chemicals).
The first step in identifying significant food safety hazards is to assess the severity of the hazard if it were to occur. Severity is typically determined by considering the effects of the hazard on human health. For example, a bacterial toxin that causes vomiting and diarrhea would be considered less severe than one that causes hemorrhagic colitis and kidney failure.
The second step is to assess the probability that the hazard will occur given how the food is produced, processed, distributed, and consumed. Probability is usually expressed as a likelihood or risk level (e.. low-, medium-, or high-risk). For example, E. coli O157-H7 is more likely to occur in ground beef than steak because it can easily contaminate meat during processing; however, it is still possible for steak to become contaminated if it comes into contact with contaminated surfaces or utensils during storage or preparation.
The third step is to assess potential impacts on public health if the hazard did occur. These impacts could range from relatively minor (e.. self-limiting illness) to serious or even lethal consequences
Identify the Critical Control Points (CCPs) in Your Process
There are several critical control points (CCPs) in every process. A CCP is a step in the process where a potential food safety hazard can be controlled or eliminated. The most common CCPs are cooking, cooling, and reheating. Other CCPs include packaging, storage, and transportation.
You may be worried about developing a HACCP flow chart for your food business, but it is essential to protecting your customers from foodborne illness.
Developing a HACCP flow chart may seem daunting, but we'll show you how it's done.
Develop Procedures and Controls for Each CCP
In order to develop procedures and controls for each CCP, you will need to consider what needs to be controlled at each stage of the process. This will ensure that the finished product is safe and of the highest quality. You should also put together a team who are responsible for monitoring and controlling the process. This team should have access to all areas of the process so that they can effectively carry out their duties.
Establish Monitoring Procedures for Each CCP
It is important to have well-defined monitoring procedures for each critical control point (CCP) in order to ensure the food safety and quality of the final product. These procedures should be designed to detect likely hazards at the CCP, as well as any deviations from the established CCP operating conditions. Monitoring should be conducted on a regular basis, and records should be kept of all monitoring activities.
Develop Corrective Actions for Each CCP
Each CCP needs its own corrective actions in order to be effective. The corrective actions for each CCP must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). They should also be designed to prevent and/or eliminate the cause of the deviation from the critical limit.
You may not know how to develop a HACCP flow chart for your food business.
Don't worry, we can show you how!