Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is HACCP?
A. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. HACCP is an international risk management methodology used by the food and related industries for the control of food safety hazards to acceptable risk levels. Food business are required, by many country's food legislation, to manage food safety using a documented and verified HACCP Plan supported by pre-requisite programmes such as cleaning, training, pest control, maintenance and supplier approval.
Q. Is HACCP internationally recognized?
A. Yes. The HACCP principles have been adopted all over the world, particularly in the USA, Europe, The Far East and Australasia. Increasingly, HACCP is becoming an important feature in the import/export process. It is recognized by all countries as the best method of food risk management and is a mandatory requirement of supply chain Global Food Standards, the most important of which are the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) benchmarked standards such as those from the BRC (British Retail Consortium), IFS (International Featured Standard), SQF (Safe Quality Food) and ISO 22000.
Q. How is HACCP and the HACCP International Certification of equipment, materials and services linked?
A. Food businesses that control food safety hazards by implementing a HACCP Plan need to control a variety of sources of food safety hazard. Some of these sources of food safety hazard, such as ingredients, cleanliness, processing and staff can be controlled easily through in-house procedures to control food safety hazards. The food safety hazards that arise from food equipment, food room materials and services can only be controlled through pre-requisite programmes such as supplier approval and consideration of correct choice and application. HACCP International Certification of equipment, materials and services provides a certificate of conformance to enable certified products to fit within any supplier approval programme that is based on mitigation of food safety risk.
Q. What type of products are suitable for HACCP International Certification?
A. Any non food product or service used within the food industry, and that can have an impact on food safety management, can be certified provided our strict guidelines are met. Projects have been rejected from the process where failures to meet the guidelines have occurred. An example of some of the products that have been certified include; Pest Control Services, High speed hand dryers, Cleaning Aids and Utensils, Hand Hygiene Chemicals, Modular cold rooms, Antimicrobial additives, Floors, Ice machines, Drinks dispensers, Extraction canopies and ceilings. A wide range of product types indeed!
Q. How long does a food safety programme based on HACCP project take to implement at a food facility?
A. 6 months would be the average from start to finish depending on the complexity of the operation although many projects run over 1 year.
Q. If we are a food processor or caterer, then are there opportunities for our company to conduct some of the work ourselves towards implementation of a HACCP Programme?
A. Yes, in certain cases our clients conduct some of the work themselves under our guidance thus making some savings on the total project cost. There is an additional time commitment required which may not suit all clients. HACCP Asia will advise you on the most cost and time effective means of achieving your objective.
Q. If we are a manufacturer or supplier of equipment, materials and services used in the food industry then what can we do to ensure successful certification under the HACCP International scheme?
A. There are a number of things to consider. You may be best to pick up the phone first and talk to us! But as an initial, brief guide - consider hygienic design – equipment and certain types of materials should be designed to minimise the chance of cross contamination, extraneous matter contamination, and should be easy to clean and if necessary disinfect. Consider any specific food safety claims that are made – ensure that these are validated by a trusted third party. Consider the clarity of user instructions and guides to minimise the chance of error. Consider technical specifications to ensure that materials of components are safe for use on the food setting. Consider your own factory Good Manufacturing Practice to minimise the risk of contamination of the finished article – especially where it is to be used in particularly hygiene sensitive areas in the food room.
Q. What is the legislation status for HACCP & food safety programmes?
A. The status of the legislation can vary from country to country. See the links page to go through to the various country Food Safety Authorities where you will find help with legislation.