Self-control of food companies according to the HACCP
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a self-control system that food companies have to apply since 1996, except for primary producers, and is regulated by Regulation 852/2004.
The self-control of food companies, and is a mandatory document that identifies the possible risks of contamination in the food chain and establishes rules to control these hazards and thus minimize the chances of food poisoning.
Although this system was introduced by NASA for the first time in the 60s to minimize the risk of food poisoning in space, the mad cow crisis caused the development of this same system for food companies. I
n all the critical points of the food chain, the HACCP proposes Correct Hygiene Practices (CHP) that the company has to apply before and during the whole process to maximize food safety.
The basic CHPs that must be included in any self-control or HACCP system are:
- Worker training plan: The management of the company must have a plan where it expresses the commitment to train its employees and expose the knowledge they already have.
- Maintenance of premises, facilities and equipment: The document must establish both preventive and corrective maintenance mechanisms in order to ensure the proper functioning of the equipment and facilities of the premises.
- Cleaning and Disinfection: The company must describe the cleaning procedure – assigned people, equipment and surfaces to be cleaned, cleaning and disinfection products, methodology, etc. – and make a weekly registration.
- Pest Control: The company must hire an approved pest control company to perform an initial diagnosis of the establishment and the authorization, among other tasks.
- Water control: essential. As much as to know the quality of the water that is used in the elaboration of the products, as in the cleaning of the establishment. In case of self-supply, the installation and purification systems will be described, among other aspects. In addition, a chlorine analysis will be carried out at the beginning of the activity to comply with Royal Decree 140/2003.
- Good hygiene practice plan: The self-control plan or HACCP should describe the procedures that must be followed to avoid contamination and make it known to all workers, for example: clothing, personal hygiene, raw meat protocol, mechanisms to avoid cross-contamination, refrigeration temperature, use of utensils, etc.
- Traceability: The control of the food chain is key in the self-control plan or HACCP. The establishments where the consumption of food is direct will have to carry out a traceability system backwards (verification that the suppliers make reference in the delivery note of their business name, TIN, sanitary registration number, etc.) and the distributors also forward (through delivery notes received from suppliers such as those issued to customers).
- There are also other important CHPs: chemical waste management in slaughterhouses, hygienic design of premises facilities and equipment, supplier control, food transportation and waste management.
Distributors without deposits or warehouses that are registered in the Sanitary Registry, generally by not physically having the products they work with in their facilities, only have to have a traceability control of the products and a control of suppliers and products. which distributes. In the self-control of food companies all the identifying data of the company are collected, as well as the people responsible for carrying out the supervision of this control.
In this document, we will also consider the following actions:
1. Traceability Control Plan The Traceability Plan is how the entry and exit of stock is controlled, so that if necessary, a batch of product can be located quickly and effectively. In the Self-Control System that we send you, it explains how the traceability control plan is carried out and managed but not the traceability itself, since each company manages it in a different way (Excel table, management programs, etc.). Be that as it may, traceability control must be managed periodically and updated.
The person in charge of carrying out the product input and output control, batch control, supplier control, if any specific software, etc. is used, will be reflected. In the self-control of food companies, a record of surveillance, verification and corrective measures of each plan is attached. These records must be completed as these actions are carried out. These records should be kept up to date, and reflect possible problems found in the plan, and how to solve them. Basically, they must be registered if there is any incidence in any of the plans (for example, that the purchase number does not indicate the lot number corresponding to the products purchased) and reflects the corrective action taken (for example: Ask the provider for the missing data).
2. Supplier control plan It is a plan to control that the suppliers of the products have the necessary sanitary guarantees to provide safe products for the consumer. To carry out the control of suppliers, it is necessary to have a complete list of supplier/suppliers of the products, with their full name, address, company identification number, health registration number, etc.
These providers must be perfectly identified and have all the sanitary permits to be able to function in their daily activity. This is already included in the Self-Control System. However, if there is any modification of any supplier, it will be necessary to reflect it in this document. It will be ensured that the products supplied by these suppliers comply with the specifications provided and required by the distributor. This plan also accompanies a series of surveillance, verification and corrective measures that must be kept up-to-date, and where it is reflected that the control of the same is being carried out periodically.
3. Product Control Plan Of all the food products distributed, suppliers must provide their complete technical data sheets with qualitative and quantitative composition, information on allergens, microbiological analysis, stability and physical properties, characteristics of packaging, etc.
The updated technical data sheets of the distributed products should always be available, since they can be requested both in control inspections and in routine documentation requests. Of course, the information in the data sheet is what should be transferred to the label, so the data must be coincident. It is important to highlight that the Self-Control System is a “live” document that must evolve as the company does and must reflect the changes that occur in it, so the importance of keeping it up to date, and updating it by revising it is fundamental.
As a food safety consultancy, at LegaleGo Nutrition we can advise you on the management of your self-control plan. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Our team is at your disposal.