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Chapter 46 : Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System: Use in Controlling Microbiological Hazards
The systematic approach to food safety embodied by hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system is based on seven principles. The approach taken in this chapter is that HACCP system plans should address only significant food safety hazards. However, for a sharper focus for this chapter, the authors have limited the examples of the application of HACCP to the food-manufacturing segment. Certain preliminary steps must be undertaken before beginning the hazard analysis. Just as microbiological testing is not a good tool for monitoring, microbiological criteria are typically not useful as critical limits in a HACCP program. As HACCP targets process control, factors that lend themselves to real-time monitoring and quick feedback should be identified as control measures. Thus, the critical limits used in a HACCP program do not typically relate to a criterion that is directly associated with microbiological testing of products or ingredients. Validation usually focuses on the process of ensuring that the plan reflects identification of all significant hazards, that the control measures identified are appropriate, that the designated critical limits are adequate to control the hazard, and that the rest of the features of the plan are satisfactory. The HACCP concept provides a systematic, structured approach to ensuring the safety of food products. However, there is no blueprint or universal formula for putting together the specific details of a HACCP plan.