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HACCP Controls (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
The HACCP for every organic enterprise is different. The HACCP that you design depends on the finished product, your premises, the production processes and the raw materials used. The way in which hygiene risks are controlled in a food business is therefore different from operator to operator.
However, there are several standard ways in which you should control your product quality and the hygiene standards of your operation:
- Hygiene monitoring
- Product testing
- Quality Assurance techniques
1. Hygiene monitoring
Refer to the section on Hygiene Records for more information
2. Product Testing
Product testing refers to 3 aspects of your product, all of which contribute to your HACCP controls:
- Raw Material testing
- Finished Product testing
- Organic Quality Testing
Raw Material Testing: Raw materials which originate on your own farm, which are used in the elaboration of a new product must be tested by a qualified and independent Food laboratory. The tests must include the mandatory bacteriological battery of tests requied by your local health authority.
Raw materials which originate with an external supplier must be accompanied by the Health certification of the supplier for that raw material. It is recommended (but not an obligation) that raw materials from certified suppliers, be independently tested at regular internals.
Finished Product Testing: If you are a food manufacturer, it is good practise, and an obligation to carry out routine testing of your finished products. At least some of these tests must be carried out by an independent, authorised Food laboratory. These tests consist of a bank of standard bacteriological tests but can also include tests for anything which is relevant to your product.
Organic Product Testing: Raw material and finished products which are sold as “Certified Organic”, will be tested, at intervals, by your organic certifying authority.
3. Quality Assurance techniques
The principle of HACCP is that you should understand and constantly monitor your food production process for known hazards. In order to do this, your HACCP plan will contain a list of defined hazards and how they are to be monitored. This also includes how you will deal with these hazards if and when they are detected.
To make this happen in reality, Bio-Track provides a method of defining a Quality Assurance Regime to support the HACCP plan and to guarantee that you are indeed producing a safe, high-quality organic product.
Defining a QA Regime: To define a QA regime, you first need to define the following reference data:
- QA Check Type (the type of quality assurance you are carrying out, eg. Storage, Production, Transport, Raw materials etc)
- QA Check (the details of what, who and how you will control a hazard or quality parameter)
Carrying out QA: BioTrack lets you record your QA activities in 2 different ways:
- Manual entry of QA
- Automatic generation of QA Logs and logging of exceptions
Manual entry of QA results allows you to enter the results of your QA activities as you carry out the checks.
Automatic generation of QA results creates positive QA results for all your defined QA Checks when you log production. This saves a lot of time because it means that the records are automatically generated when production is entered. You them simply need to review the QA records and enter exceptions (if any).