HACCP provides businesses with a cost effective system for control of food safety, from ingredients right through to production, storage and distribution to sale and service of the final consumer. The preventive approach of HACCP not only improves food safety management but also complements other quality management systems. Food safety management systems built in accordance with the principles of HACCP have a clearly defined structure.
Process Based System: Business will benefit from a clear definition of processes and procedures. Effective communication and continual process improvement are the cornerstones of a functioning management system.
Customer and Consumer Confidence: A controlled food operating environment and effectively implemented and applied food safety system will improve customer and consumer confidence in the safety of food.
Risk Management: It uses a systematic approach covering all aspects of food production from raw materials, processing, distribution, point of sale to consumption and beyond. It moves a company from a solely retrospective end product testing and sampling approach towards a preventative approach that is designed to reduce product losses and liabilities.
Management Responsibility: It enables management throughout a business to demonstrate their commitment to the production and supply of safe products and within facility environments that are favorable for the production or supply of safe food.
Relationship Improvement: To enhance the relationships between organizations in the food chain, customers and enforcement agencies.
Records: Record-keeping enables a more efficient and effective government and customer oversight, and allows investigators to see how well a firm is complying with food safety laws over a period of time rather than how well it is doing on any given day. The documentation within a food safety system facilitates the inspection activities of food inspectors.
Legal Protection: It has been widely accepted that HACCP based systems present the food industry with the most effective management tool to enable the production and supply of safe food. As such, the adoption of this approach can offer a legal defence in the event of an outbreak of food borne diseases.
Trading Benefit: HACCP based approaches are a benefit to companies seeking to meet customer and legal requirements whether in the domestic or for the export market.
Alignment with other management systems: HACCP based food safety management systems can be combined with other management systems such as ISO 9001:2008. This combination provides a hazard analysis approach with pre-requisite programmes along with a framework to manage a food safety system.
Seven Basic Principles of HACCP
The seven principles are: (1) hazard analysis, (2) critical control point identification, (3) establishment of critical limits, (4) monitoring procedures, (5) corrective actions, (6) record keeping, and (7) verification procedures.