Any food business in Malaysia or elsewhere requires a food safety plan to be in place. The safety plan is a set of procedures that every business will use to make sure that the food they prepare and serve is safe for human consumption. Plans will reduce safety hazards in the kitchen and eliminate the chance that food could face contamination due to the working environment. Food safety plans are broken down into seven sections and include a comprehensive strategy to protect a business in the food service, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and more.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. It is a certification that was first created in the 1960s by NASA to monitor food safety for their programs. NASA introduced HACCP to prevent any chance that astronauts could become sick due to food preparation in their small 73 cubic foot capsule with no toilets. Food-borne illnesses needed to be prevented throughout each mission.
HACCP has evolved to include processes for every stage of the food supply chain and covers strategies in distribution, packaging, preparation, production, and throughout every stage of the supply chain. Companies that oversee food delivery are included, as are companies that do direct food preparation such as restaurants.
The Seven Sections of HACCP
1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis
The first step is to figure out what could possibly go wrong. This includes looking at all of the ingredients, equipment, and processes involved in food preparation. Any possible safety hazard needs to be identified and recorded.
2. Identify Critical Control Points
After all of the hazards have been identified, the business must then look at what needs to be done to make sure that these hazards are eliminated. These are known as critical control points.
3. Establish Critical Limits
Every critical control point will have a limit that needs to be adhered to. This is the maximum or minimum value that a physical, biological, or chemical hazard can have and still be considered safe.
4. Monitor Critical Control Points
In order to make sure that the food is safe, businesses need to constantly monitor the critical control points. This is done through regular testing and inspection.
5. Establish Corrective Actions
If at any point the critical control points are not within the safe limits, corrective actions need to be taken. This could involve anything from stopping the process to throwing away the food.
6. Establish Record Keeping Procedures
It is important for businesses to keep records of all the testing and inspection that is done. This will help to identify any trends and figure out what needs to be changed in the future.
7. Establish Verification Procedures
The last step is to verify that all of the procedures are working. This is done through regular audits and inspections.
HACCP is a comprehensive food safety plan that covers every stage of the food supply chain. Through each section of the HACCP, a company will be able to build a strategy and then verify the results accordingly. Rather than establishing their own plan for food safety that may have gaps in reporting or miss crucial areas where safety is unmanaged, this system provides a uniform level of safety and service to every stage of food service.
Why do Companies Need to Apply for a HACCP Certification
Companies that are able to apply for a HACCP certification and maintain the required food safety standards are able to show their clients that they take food safety seriously. This certification is seen as a mark of quality by many businesses and can help a company to stand out from the competition.
HACCP will help to ensure that your business can be FDA compliant and compliant with many laws outlined by the FSIS. If you do any type of food exporting or you are planning on setting up international franchises, getting this certification is essential for your expansion.
HACCP-certified companies are also able to improve the quality of their food products. By having proper documentation and checks in place, the quality of food is improved and every product must face a rigorous level of quality standards.
HACCP will save business money in the long run through an organizational process. Many times, businesses without HACCP will incur more losses from product recalls or customer complaints. If a business is able to show that it has a plan in place for food safety, then it will be able to avoid many of these issues.
The certification also enhances employee training and morale. Employees feel better about working for a company that has high food safety standards and they are more likely to take pride in their work.
Perhaps the greatest benefit that you can see by improving your business with HACCP is the ability to increase your customer base. Many customers are now looking for companies that have this certification and they are willing to pay more for products that they know are safe. The improvements to product quality can benefit the businesses you supply, your end consumers and more.
Overall, getting HACCP certified is a good way to show that your company is serious about food safety. It will help you to expand your business, improve the quality of your products, and enhance employee training.
HACCP-certified companies are also less likely to face legal action if there is ever a problem with the food that they have supplied. This is because they can show that they have taken all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their product.
How To Obtain Your Certification
Implement a plan following the 7 sections of HACCP. NSF auditors will come to your facility and check your plan based on the criteria.
The initial audit completed on-site will be a good manufacturing practice audit. The auditor will then complete an off-site documentation audit to verify that your systems are in writing.
After the audit is completed the auditors will work together to determine if any changes to your HACCP plan need to be put in place. After the changes are made and verified, you will receive the certification.
Annual surveillance audits will take place after the certification is awarded and you will be responsible for recertifying every 3 years.
If you are looking for a HACCP consultant, please contact us to find out more info.