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About HACCP

HACCP  (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is the best available system for managing food safety around the World. Learn of the Development of HACCP below.

HACCPCanada recommends every food related business follow HACCP principles in their day to day operations. Document and Verify the HACCP System through HACCPCanada CERTIFICATION.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union put Sputnik, the world's first satellite, into orbit. The launch of this satellite propelled America into the space race. The first step was to get an American satellite into orbit; the second was to get a person into space. 


The pressure on scientists involved with the space program to get it right was intense. This was a matter of national pride, and those involved took all possible steps to ensure that the program was successful. Failure was not an option!

 

 A Little History

Food was an integral part of putting a man into space; food that would not only provide concentrated nutrition, but would not create any health issues. Above all, the food had to be safe. An astronaut who became sick would be a danger to himself and the mission. Projectile vomiting and bloody diarrhea from a foodborne illness is not conducive in a spacesuit.

In 1959, Pillsbury joined the program as a contractor and began working on cube-sized foods for space flight.
 Producing foods that would not crumble in zero gravity and provide adequate nutrition was only one of the problems; food safety was another. NASA & Pillsbury soon realized that traditional quality control methods would be inadequate to guarantee the foods safety, as testing and analysis alone would not suffice. In fact, to ensure that the food was safe, manufacturers had to test so much product that there was little left for actual use.


The search for a better way came in part from NASA's own requirements. NASA had mandated the use of critical control points (CCP's) in engineering management, so it was a logical step to apply this same process to food manufacturing. The CCP approach adopted by NASA apparently had first been practiced in the munitions industry as a means to ensure the reliability of shells. Extrapolating from those examples, Pillsbury and NASA required contractors to identify critical failure areas and eliminate them from the system. Applying this concept to a food system was new. It was a NASA requirement, but Pillsbury was the company that grabbed the bull by the horns and made it work for space foods. In fact, with Pillsbury's experience with the space program they adopted the approach in its own manufacturing. Traceability and the ability to monitor every step of the food from Gate to Plate could be tracked, signed off and verified to its safety.

The Birth of HACCP
The food industry's early efforts to deploy the HACCP system were given an intellectual boost by a National Academy of Sciences report that recommended government inspectors replace infrequent and brief plant inspections with evaluations of plant records to verify compliance with its HACCP system. Had this concept been followed, government inspections, which covered periods of hours or days, would have been replaced with government audits, which could have verified compliance over periods of days, months, and even years. However, in the following 25 years, there has been no significant regulatory shift from inspection to audit procedures, and few effective food safety regulations have been promulgated in the U.S.


HACCP Expands 
The success of HACCP in controlling hazards in food processing establishments led to consumer and regulator clamor to apply HACCP from farm to table. HACCP is now regulated nationally, and provincially the regulations state that HACCP is required but not enforced.
On this occasion of the 50th anniversary of HACCP, it is tempting to look forward and envision further improvements that can be accomplished. To a very large extent, global food corporations have implemented HACCP around the world without significant assistance  from governmental and intergovernmental food regulatory and health agencies. That is, HACCP reached its current state of preeminence as a voluntary industry program, not as a government mandate. It would be a great help if federal agencies, without being prescriptive, would require the appropriate use of HACCP and/or prerequisite programs in food operations from farm to table. We can expect that a much greater and more effective collaboration can be reached among all agencies, including the prospective formation of a Food Protection Organization within the United Nations or the World Trade Organization.

Since its birth in 1960, the HACCP system has grown to become the world standard of food safety. The future may see the addition of more principles, perhaps related to training, validation, prerequisite programs, etc. Whatever the ultimate configuration of HACCP system details, it is comforting to note that the HACCP pioneers, beginning 50 years ago, established features of HACCP that have not changed.

Canadians have become increasingly concerned about food safety. Incidences of food-borne illness are receiving more attention as consumers have become more aware of new pathogens that threaten all of us.

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system (HACCP) was developed to focus specifically on food safety. A major focus of the new HACCP system is from farm to table. In short, everyone is responsible for safe food products.


HACCP is a concept as well as a method of operation. When it comes to pathogens, sight, smell, and taste just do not get it done. We must have control over the process, the raw materials, the environment, and the people, beginning as early in the food production system as possible.

 

HACCP plans and operating procedures are adaptable to any food production, processing, or distribution activity. 

Federal, Provincial, and local food regulatory agencies, along with other food educational and organizational groups, are working to implement the HACCP Food Safety Program in the entire food chain  from producers and growers to processors, to the marketing and distribution and retail outlets.


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