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Food Safety Starts With HACCP

Krista Fredrick

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Krista Fredrick | May 17, 2013 | 0

Food Safety Starts With HACCPCommon sense might be good enough for the leftovers in your fridge at home. But the “smell test” isn’t going to cut it if you work in a supermarket, retail store, restaurant or packaging facility that processes food. Your customers are more educated about food and foodborne illnesses than ever before. You have to reassure them that you are using government-recognized sanitation and handling practices if you want to give them confidence that your products are safe and properly labeled.

What is HACCP?  The US Food and Drug Administration defines Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP, for short) as a “management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.”

The translation? A HACCP plan is a written document that clearly states how you and your business should correctly handle food, monitor procedures and keep records to keep consumers safe. There are several food safety courses you can take— HACCP is one of them. This is very specific training that will give you the most specific blueprint for food safety. Learn2serve offers HACCP Training and HACCP certification tailored to meet the specific requirements in your state.

HACCP is much more involved than inspecting finished food products. It is a way to detect, correct and prevent physical, chemical and biological hazards in the production process. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates HACCP systems that deal with meat production. Seafood and juice industries are subject to FDA regulations. In other food industries, like restaurants, HACCP is voluntary as far as government regulations are concerned. But knowing the system and how to implement it can help you land a good job as a manager or supervisor in a wide range of food industries.

There are seven principles that make up a HACCP plan. Learning them isn’t so hard once you get past the technical language and rigid terminology and understand that each principle describes a concept you probably deal with every day if you work with food production. The principles are:

  1. Identify hazards.
  2. Identify Critical Control Points (CCPs).
  3. Establish Critical Limits.
  4. Monitor the CCPs.
  5. Establish Corrective Actions.
  6. Establish Verification Procedures.
  7. Establish Record-Keeping Procedures.

Remember, HACCP plans are all about being specific, keeping careful records, and following rules that were created based on scientific information. But the concepts that underlie the plan are easy to learn and remember once you educate yourself about health hazards in food production.

Food processing facilities, restaurants and supermarkets may require HACCP training for some manager-level positions, especially in jobs that deal with meat, seafood and juice. Taking an HACCP food safety training course will demonstrate to prospective employers that you can identify the causes of foodborne illnesses, follow the requirements of food safety programs, implement monitoring procedures and determine effective corrective actions. Food safety is serious business, and taking the initiative to get advanced training will boost your employment outlook, raise your earnings potential, and help you keep the consumer safe and happy.

To learn more, download our free “Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP)” guide here. You will learn about:

  • The 1993 Outbreak
  • The seven principles of HACCP
  • Critical Control Points (CCPs)
  • How to put together a plan

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