So what is HACCP?
When I ask prospective clients what they “know” about HACCP I am generally told “I know that it is a lot of paper work!”.
When I ask trainees in a food hygiene course, what the acronym HACCP stands for I hear people try and guess what the letters mean. Common answers include health…hygiene…clean…cook… paperwork…etc.
I always tell clients and trainees that it is NOT important to remember what each letter of the acronym stands for, but it is VITALLY important that they understand the PRINCIPLE behind HACCP.
In short, HACCP is an internationally recognised preventative food safety management system. It is a bit like WHS principles, where we look at what can go wrong (potential hazards), and put in steps (called controls), to make sure that the potential hazards cannot occur. We are NOT saying that the hazard will happen, but we are saying that if we don’t implement controls, that the hazard CAN happen.
A good example is that hair and jewellery falling into food is a potential food safety hazard…however…if staff remove their jewellery and put on a hat before starting work, the jewellery cannot enter the food, and the likelihood of hair ending up in the food is significantly reduced.
In most food businesses that become HACCP Certified, the practices and facilities that they have in place, should legally be the same as a business that do not have HACCP. The only difference being, that a HACCP Certified business has documented procedures for their employees to follow that explain how to make sure that the food they serve IS safe. They also have records to demonstrate that they have complied with the procedures that are in place (the “paperwork”).
However, with current technology the traditional “paperwork” can be replaced with data loggers, electronically recorded probes, iPads and smart phones.
We have clients that simply take a photo to record what has been done, and we have other clients that conduct all of their daily monitoring on an iPad. This includes receival, refrigeration, cooking, cooling and display temperatures, as well as cleaning and other hygiene checks. There is NO paperwork.
Eat well. Eat safe!
P.S. “HACCP” stands for…Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point…but as indicated above, I don’t care if you can’t remember this. PLEASE remember that HACCP is designed to PREVENT food safety hazards.
If you would like more information on what HACCP is, please download our HACCP Whitepaper from our website, or contact Sarah in our office, and she can subscribe you. The Whitepaper answers many of the FAQ that we receive including benefits, cost and how long it takes.