Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Originally designed as a means to provide safe foods for space flight, HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a systematic, preventive approach to food safety and determines the physical, chemical, and biological hazards in an effort to prevent contamination rather than finding it through finished product inspection. This method is useful at all stages of food production and preparation processes including packaging, processing, distribution, etc.
Based on risk-assessment, HACCP plans allow for better efficiency in establishing and auditing safe food production practices.
The Seven Principles of HACCP:
Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis
Principle 2: Identify critical control points
Principle 3: Establish critical limits for each critical control point
Principle 4: Establish critical control point monitoring requirements
Principle 5: Establish corrective actions
Principle 6: Establish procedures for ensuring the HACCP system is effective
Principle 7: Establish record keeping procedures
HACCP systems are widely recognized and accepted in the following industries:
- Seafood industry
- Fresh-cut product
- Meet and poultry products
- School Food and Services
- Dairy Industry
Additionally, HACCP is now being applied in the food packaging industry.
The implementation of a HACCP program involves monitoring, verifying and validating that the processes and procedures used to produce safe food products are effective.
Benefits of HACCP
- Initial Information
- Offer and Contract
- Stage 1 audit
- Stage 2 audit
- System Evaluation
- Surveillance audits
The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.
Offer and Contract
DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.
A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.
Stage 1 audit
The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.
Stage 2 audit
The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.
The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.
Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.
A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.
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