For the average business that supplies products and food to consumers, it can be hard to wrap your head around having a HACCP plan or even keeping on top of critical control points. There is so much you need to know, and short of delegating the task to someone else in your team, you may struggle to get a handle on what it all means.
If you are in the beginning stages of crafting your HACCP plan you need to know more about what it all involves, then read on. We’ve included some helpful tips and information so you can be at the top of your game when it comes to hazard analysis and critical control points in your business.
What is Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points?
The first helpful tip is, of course, understanding what HACCP is. Hazard analysis and critical control points is a preventive system to stop dangerous products from reaching consumers. In essence, it’s putting measures in place to halt biological, chemical, or physical hazards from posing undue harm. It also includes placing risk management measures in place so you can satisfy the purchasers of your products that all processes were followed down to the letter.
Understand the Principles
If you are going to create an effective HACCP plan, then you are going to need to understand what each principle of it incorporates. Otherwise, you’ll get through each of the seven steps of the compulsory plan, not fully understanding if you have completed it correctly.
The first step of HACCP is to conduct the hazard analysis. This step incorporates identifying the biological, chemical, and physical hazards that could pose a risk on your production line.
The second principle is the process of putting control points in place to minimize the risk of a hazard. This step then flows onto number three, establishing your critical limits – the minimum and maximum scores for managing a danger.
The fourth principle of HACCP is fundamental too, as it’s about having a monitoring system in place for measuring your critical control points. If there are hazards, then step five comes into play – establishing corrective actions.
Finally, principle six and seven involve verifying your plan then establishing a method of record keeping. While the HACCP might appear daunting, each step works cohesively with the previous one to ensure your company runs like a well-oiled machine.
Rely on Experts
Every company, corporation, and business want to spend as little money as possible, but when it comes to HACCP, it’s imperative that you put your customers first. Instead of thinking – or hoping – you understand everything there is to know about HACCP, why don’t you put steps in place so that you know for sure? That’s where training programmes come in.
Training programmes for HACCP help you brush up on both New Zealand and overseas standards so you can ensure your business operations are all above board.
Choose Your HACCP Team Wisely
When you create your HACCP plan, you assign a group of people to work on it and be answerable for particular principles within it. Sometimes, those people might not be fit for the job or leave, and no one remembers to update the plan.
When you create your HACCP plan, put a lot of thought into who will be a part of its creation and action. Make sure those involved are knowledgeable, have adequate skills, and understand each of the seven principles.
There should also be representatives from every area of your business – such as cleaning, maintenance, management, customer service, packing, and distribution.
Once you identify someone from each department, you then need to make sure they have a firm understanding of how your business works, how you produce your products, possible hazards, procedures for fixing hazards, and any food safety compliance your workplace incorporates too.
Having a paperless workplace has benefited many everyday businesses and consumers. To a degree, your HACCP can be paperless too. There is a lot involved in hazard analysis and critical control points, which means there’s a lot of paperwork which can get lost, forgotten, or not updated. That’s where digital comes in.
There are now systems in place that let you operate your HACCP on an entirely digital level. We have included some of the benefits of such a method below.
- Status check visibility – you can see the data at any time
- Alerts when checks are due – never forget to update HACCP
- Real-time problem identification
- Time, date, and staff information automatically identified
- 24/7 monitoring
- Alerts to tablets, mobiles, and computers
- Cloud storage so nothing gets lost
Several businesses now offer platforms and software that can help your business HACCP to run smoother than it ever has before.
Your hazard analysis and critical control points systems do not need to be the nightmare you think they will be. Instead, they can be quite straightforward. Know what the plan is, understand the principles, choose your team wisely, rely on experts, and use software to make the entire experience run smoothly. You will then wonder what you have been worrying about.