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Copacker Insight: HACCP - Broken Down and Explained

Updated: Apr 30

Welcome to Coapcker Search Wisdom -


If you are looking for a Copacker you may have seen HACCP quite a bit but have no idea what it is. We can lay it out for you in basics below. Simply enough, it is a systematic approach to food safety management that identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards throughout the food production process. HACCP itself stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. It is a program that a Copacker can implement at their facility after proper training. It requires critical thinking by the quality, production, and R&D teams and must be consistently and regularly evaluated and validated. A Copacker having a verified HACCP protocol in place is certainly a great sign!


Let's look at the basics of HACCP broken down:

  1. Hazard Analysis: The first step in HACCP is to conduct a hazard analysis to identify potential biological, chemical, or physical hazards that could occur at each stage of the food production process. This involves assessing raw materials, processing steps, storage, distribution, and consumption.

  2. Critical Control Points (CCPs): Once hazards are identified, critical control points are determined. CCPs are specific points in the production process where control measures can be applied to prevent, eliminate, or reduce hazards to acceptable levels. These points are crucial for ensuring food safety.

  3. Establishing Critical Limits: Critical limits are established for each CCP, which are criteria that must be met to ensure that hazards are effectively controlled. These limits are based on factors such as time, temperature, pH, moisture level, and microbial counts.

  4. Monitoring Procedures: Monitoring procedures are put in place to ensure that CCPs are operating within critical limits. This involves regular observation, measurement, or testing of parameters at CCPs to verify that control measures are effective.

  5. Corrective Actions: If monitoring indicates that a CCP is not operating within critical limits, corrective actions are taken to bring the process back under control. This may involve adjusting process parameters, repairing equipment, or discarding affected products to prevent hazards from reaching consumers.

  6. Verification: Verification involves confirming that the HACCP system is working effectively. This includes reviewing records, conducting audits, and testing samples to ensure that hazards are being adequately controlled.

  7. Documentation and Record-Keeping: Detailed documentation is essential for HACCP implementation. This includes maintaining records of hazard analysis, CCPs, critical limits, monitoring results, corrective actions, verification activities, and any modifications to the HACCP plan.

  8. Establishing a HACCP Plan: A written HACCP plan outlines all the above steps specific to the food production process. It serves as a roadmap for ensuring food safety and is essential for training employees, communicating procedures, and demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements.

  9. Training and Education: Proper training and education are essential for implementing and maintaining an effective HACCP system. All personnel involved in the food production process must understand their roles and responsibilities in ensuring food safety.

  10. Continuous Improvement: HACCP is a dynamic process that requires regular review and updating to ensure its effectiveness. Continuous improvement involves monitoring trends, incorporating new information, and making adjustments to the HACCP plan as needed to enhance food safety.

Ask your Copacker about their HACCP plan and how/if it applies to your product!


As Always, Happy Hunting!


The CVL Team

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