So, what is HACCP anyway?
In other words, what I did was to:
Sauk Prairie Healthcare,
Food & Nutrition Director
09/2018 - 10/2018
Assumptions are made that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) is available at the client facility, to ensure that basic procedures to handle food safely are known to employees.
Therefore, the only focus here are risks introduced while food are purchased from reliable sources.
There are 7 principles in HACCP, and for this project only the first 5 were addressed
Food safety control involves main steps from raw material to production to the final storage and serving.
During each step, there are certain risks introducing microbial, physical, chemical, or allergen hazards.
“Critical control point” is the ONLY point (for this project) in a specific food system where loss of control may result in unacceptable health risk.
While any of these procedures could be considered as “control point”, only the one that is the last step where the hazards causing harm to customers could be prevented can be considered as CCP. A decision tree is used to help identify the CCP.
“Critical limits” is a maximum or minimum value for preventing, eliminating or reducing the biological, chemical or physical hazard at a CCP.
Physical: no visible hazardous foreign particle should be presented in food
Microbial: internal temperature of beef should be >= 145 ℉ for 15 s; internal temperature of vegetables should be >= 135 ℉
Chemical: unlikely to cause hazardous problem
Observations and measurements are conducted to assess if a CCP has been controlled.
Physical: visually check if there is foreign material present in the food
Microbial: use the calibrated thermometer to check the internal temperature of food items for each batch
Chemical: check with cooking equipment producers about the potential risk for metal leaking
Allergic: check food labels for source of allergens
When critical limit has been exceeded, corrective actions are needed to prevent hazardous foods from reaching consumers.
Physical: retrain employees to ensure they know the SOP
Microbial: if food isn’t cooked properly, re-cook it or destroy it
Chemical: if metal leaking from stainless kettle, change equipment and purchase from approved supplier
Allergic: stop using the brand with big eight allergies, and contact people responsible for purchasing to consider other allergen-free brands
Besides physical, chemical or biological hazards introduced to the food, allergen is a primary source of risk posing to food safety, too. Sources of allergen were identified from the recipe, and alternative ingredients were considered.
Cross-contamination during food production, and accurate communication with customers during food serving are also keys to prevent further risk from allergens.
HACCP plan is process-specific. Therefore, hazards identified and procedures taken to reduce such risks varies from case to case. The purpose of this project is to practice applying knowledge from food management and food safety principles in a real-world case.