Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
• Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points is a systematic, preventative approach to food safety originally conceived in the 1960’s. It is a product management system that, when properly designed and implemented, should generate a safer food product.
• As the name implies, HACCP includes first analysis and and then control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards in the food production chain from raw material, production, procurement, and handling to manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the finished product.
• It is commonly referred to as HACCP (pronounced “Hassup”).
• The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is attempting to use HACCP as a replacement for inspection, by reducing physical on-site inspections to one of verification and oversight of a plant’s HACCP plan.
• The utilization of HACCP principals within meat and poultry slaughter plants will help prevent food contamination and will lead to safer products.
• The establishment of performance standards in conjunction with routine microbial testing will also lead to a safer meat and poultry industry.
• It is a company’s responsibility to produce a safe product, and the HACCP system is a necessity for this safety. However, HACCP is NOT a replacement for inspection, nor does it negate the need for inspection.
• The government is responsible for the production of safe food products through organoleptic and microbiological inspection at key points in the production process, NOT through verifying company paperwork and overseeing plant employees.
• Stop Foodborne Illness has never and will never support an “oversight and verification” program over actual inspection. The most intense surveillance in slaughter plants is necessary to ensure that microbiological testing occurs to detect invisible bacteria and that all visible feces and ingesta are trimmed off.