HACCP in practice

Each step in a manufacturing procedure needs to be assessed from an HACCP angle. Consequently any manufacturing process will have many such assessments covering various aspects of the production chain. Critical control points that relate to the handling of common allergens cover all areas of manufacturing, including storage, production, packing, transport and employee safety.

In all cases, the HACCP study must include the identification of the CCP, providing a clear outline of the potential hazard, details of the control measures in place, identification of the person responsible for the control measures, the action required to ensure the controls are met and finally any corrective action should a problem occur. The HACCP study needs to be undertaken in a systematic and thorough manner. Each step in the process of manufacture, from receipt of ingredients to packing of the finished product, must be assessed. Table 8.1 shows one example of a systematic approach to an HACCP study.

Each HACCP study gives a detailed review of a specific step in the manufacturing process. An example of an HACCP study is given in Fig. 8.1, showing the handling of nuts in a production facility. The particular step involved is the disposal of packaging in which nuts are delivered to the factory. There is a risk that this packaging could be reused and could transfer traces of nuts to other ingredients.

This specific example shows the detail required for each critical control point in the HACCP study. A completed HACCP study provides an extremely thorough review of the entire manufacturing procedure and gives very detailed advice to the operators of the production line to control any risks that could arise. HACCP studies provide a very useful tool for quality control.

HACCP studies must be undertaken for each production line and must be recorded in detail. It is important that instructions and training are provided to all operators, outlining the steps that need to be taken to control any risks. In the case of completely new lines, new products being manufactured on an existing line, or major line modifications, the HACCP study must be repeated as even small changes to procedures can introduce new CCPs. The HACCP study must take into account the real-life characteristics of any line to provide accurate information and appropriate controls.

An essential part of all HACCP studies is a clear training programme to ensure that all staff who work in a particular area are fully aware of the

Table 8.1 Systematic approach to HACCP studies, related to allergen control

1 Process step details What is the nature of the process involved?

2 Hazard Description Is there a risk of contamination with allergens?

3 Control measures What procedures will control this risk?

4 Modifications Can changes control the risk - what are they?

5 Is it a Critical Control Point that needs documenting and controlling?

HACCP - Nuts Critical Control Point No. 8 Disposal of packaging

Hazard Contamination of other lines if nut packing mate rials are used for other purposes, e.g. storing other raw materials

Controls Prevent use of packaging for other purposes to ensure no cross-contamination to other ingredients

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