HACCP ConsultantFood Safety Systems to BRC or ISO 22000
I am an experienced HACCP consultant and food safety expert with a Degree in Food Quality Management, a PgCert in HACCP and many years of food industry experience. I have lead HACCP food safety teams and developed HACCP systems in many different companies, sectors and food groups.
HACCP is a food safety management system which involves the analysis and control of microbiological, chemical and physical hazards at every stage of the food manufacturing process from raw material intake, manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. It is an essential component of any food safety and quality management system, and is a mandatory requirement of the BRC, GFSI, TFMS and other retailer technical standards. HACCP also provides a substantial part of your due diligence defence to enforcement authorities (e.g. EHOs).
HACCP Consultant for BRC, Codex Alimentarius or ISO 22000
- As a HACCP and food safety consultant, I specialise in the design and development of comprehensive yet easy-to-maintain HACCP systems, including: Process flow diagrams, Hazard identification, CCP identification, Establishing targets and tolerances, Control measures, Monitoring procedures, Corrective actions and Records.
- I can provide assistance with incorporating prerequisites and control measures into your existing quality management system.
- I can conduct HACCP verification, audits and reviews and advise on prerequisite programmes.
- HACCP is not something a HACCP Consultant or food safety consultant, such as myself, can come in and “do” for you, but I can take the lead in advising, guiding and training your staff so the HACCP system remains active and up-to-date long after I have gone.
Expanding on the Codex 7 Principles and 12 Steps of HACCP
- HACCP Team (step 1): HACCP begins with a multi-disciplinary team that includes those responsible for quality assurance, technical management, production operation, engineering and other relevant functions. The HACCP team leader must have an in-depth knowledge of Codex HACCP principles (or equivalent) and team members must have knowledge of HACCP, products, processes and associated hazards.
- Prerequisite Programme: Prerequisites are programmes that create an environment that is suitable to produce safe and legal food products, e.g. cleaning and sanitising, pest management, maintenance, personal hygiene, training, purchasing, storage, transportation, cross-contamination and allergen control.
- Describe the Products (step 2): Each product of product group must be described fully in terms of: ingredients (and origin/source), recipe, allergens, properties that affect food safety (e.g. pH, Aw), heat treatment and cooling, packaging, temperature control (storage and distribution, shelf life and usage instructions. This information needs to be backed up by scientific literature, historical data, codes of practice, industry guidelines, legislation and/or customer requirements.
- Intended Use of Products (step 3): The intended use of each product or product group by the customer must be described, defining the consumer target groups and the suitability of the product for vulnerable groups of people (e.g. infants, elderly, allergy sufferers).
- Process Flow Diagram (step 4): A process flow diagram must be created for each product, product group or process. The flow diagram(s) must include every step of the process from goods in, through production, to storage and distribution. Diagrams should incorporate a plan of the premises, equipment layout, high/low risk segregation, the sequence of the process steps, potential for process delays, rework, intermediate products, finished products and waste.
- Flow Diagram Verification (step 5): The HACCP Team must verify the accuracy of the process flow diagrams by audit and challenge testing, initially then at least annually. Daily and seasonal variations must be considered and evaluated.
- Hazard Identification and Analysis (step 6 / principle 1): The HACCP Team must identify and record all the potential hazards that are reasonably expected to occur at each process step, including hazards in raw materials, hazards introduced during each process step and hazards that may survive each process steps. The following types of hazard must be considered: physical, microbiological, chemical and radiological contamination, fraud/adulteration, malicious contamination and allergen risks. The HACCP Team must then risk assess each potential hazard and determine what control measures are required to prevent or eliminate each hazard, or reduce it to an acceptable level.
- Determine Critical Control Points (step 7 / principle 2): For each hazard that requires control, control points must be reviewed to identify those that are “critical”, i.e. required to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level. If an identified hazard does not currently have adequate control measures, the process must me modified to provide control measures.
- Critical Limits for each CCP (step 8 / principle 3): The HACCP Team must define critical limits for each CCP that are measurable and supported by clear guidance, examples or photos. Each CCP must be technically validated with documentary evidence which proves the control measures and critical limits are capable of consistently controlling the hazard to the specified acceptable level.
- Monitoring Systems for each CCP (step 9 / principle 4): A monitoring procedure must be established for each CCP to ensure compliance with critical limits. The monitoring system must be able to detect loss of control of CCPs and, wherever possible, provide information in time for corrective action to be taken. Records associated with CCP monitoring must include the date, time and result, and records must be signed by the person responsible for the monitoring and, where appropriate, verified by an authorised person.
- Corrective Action Plan (step 10 / principle 5): The HACCP Team must specify and document the corrective action that must be taken when monitored results indicate a failure to meet a control limit, or a trend towards loss of control. This must include the actions to be taken by nominated personnel with regard to products that have been manufactured during the period when the process was out of control.
- Verification Procedures (step 11 / principle 6): Verification procedures must be established to confirm that all control measures (including prerequisites) continue to be effective. Verification activities may include internal audits, record reviews, complaint reviews, incident/recall reviews. Verification results must be documented and communicated to the HACCP Team.
- Record Keeping (step 12 / principle 7): Documentation and records must be sufficient to enable the site to verify that the HACCP and food safety controls, including prerequisite programmes, are in place and maintained.
- HACCP Review: The HACCP Team must review the HACCP system and prerequisite programme at least annually, and prior to any changes that may affect food safety, e.g. changes to raw materials, recipes, equipment, processing, packaging, storage, distribution, consumer use. A review may also be necessary after a product recall, the emergence of a new risk or new scientific developments. Appropriate changes resulting from the review must be incorporated into the HACCP system and/or prerequisite programme, fully documented and the validation recorded.