What does “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” really mean!?

Operations , Public Health , Regulatory ,
By: Judson Wallace, VeriSolutions

The regulations and guidance presented in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 Section 120 can be pretty daunting. The “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” or HACCP system was originally proposed all the way back in the early 1970’s and after being adopted in the late 90’s, it continues to be tweaked and altered to reflect the concerns surrounding food safety. 

In the most basic sense, HACCP can be thought of a seven step process. And when used properly, this process seeks to provide a framework of training and management that prevents foodborne illnesses. It also mandates a documentation trail to be traced and evaluated if a problem should occur. First, we will break down the seven steps, and later, we will show you how innovative new solutions can assist restaurants, food processors, and other operators in compliance with the HACCP system.

The Seven Steps of the HACCP system:
  1. Conduct a hazard analysis to determine risks associated with all stages, from growing raw materials and ingredients to final product ready for consumption.
  2. Identify critical control points to control these hazards.
  3. Implement conditions to control hazards at each critical control point.
  4. Implement effective procedures to monitor control for each point.
  5. Implement corrective measures to be taken if a deviation occurs at a point.
  6. Implement effective record keeping systems for HACCP plan activities.
  7. Implement procedures to verify the plan is working effectively.
 
In nearly all restaurant hazard analyses, improper cooling of food and inadequate food holding temperatures are two of the most common mistakes employees make. The simplicity and effectiveness of an automated temperature system eliminates these concerns. Let’s see how:

Automated restaurant and temperature monitoring solutions allow each user to identify their own critical control points, placing beacons in coolers and areas which need to be monitored.
 
Systems typically provide customizable data readings as often as the user needs to monitor temperature, humidity, CO2, and more. If data readings fall outside of the customized thresholds of compliance, solutions immediately will push text, email, and alarm notifications to the relevant parties. With this information, actions can be taken to correct problems, maintain safety protocols, and likely save thousands of dollars of inventory.
 
Ultimately, the HACCP guidelines are intended for the safety of the customer, but they also encourage activity that ultimately benefits the restaurant or “provider” as well. Fallout from the recent news surrounding Chipotle has made restaurant health inspection scores very relevant. Deductions during an inspection are never a good thing, and in an effort to quantify things, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) estimates that between fines, lost business, quadrupling of insurance costs, and lawsuits from customers, one instance of foodborne illness caused by a restaurant will cost that business $75,000. That’s an estimated average that is certainly substantial, but even that is small considering the 8 BILLION dollar decline in value Chipotle experienced in the four months following their E. Coli outbreak. The HACCP system isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Cutting edge solutions like VeriTemp provide both consumers and providers peace of mind that temperature safety is being adhered to in correspondence with HACCP guidelines. To learn more, check out our website and schedule a demo today.