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HACCP & food manufacturers

HACCP is an essential system used in identification of hazards, assessing chances of occurrence of hazards at each stage of rawmaterial purchase, manufacturing, processing, distribution, usage of food products and in preventing the hazards. HACCP system involves excessive microbial testing which is the only measure to consider safety of food from toxic effects or contamination. HACCP has enabled food manufacturers, producers, processors, distributors, exporters etc. , to take the advantage of technical resources efficiently in a cost effective manner in order to ensure safety of food.

Safe and harmless food to consumer certainly results in better quality, price and profits. 2. Problem According to Dagmar Engel, commitment to the job is lacking in HACCP system and there are several other problems with HACCP system which expect excessive commitment from companies in order to meet the compliances of HACCP. Commitment requires motivation which in turn requires training. There is lack of hygiene management, motivation and feedback from employees in HACCP system which is of a major concern.

Employees are required to understand HACCP system, its demands, priorities, rules and regulations in order to practice in quality management. 3. Review of Literature Relevant The emerge of HACCP is very strong from Codex Alimentarious Commission which was formed with the motive to protect food standards, guidelines and codes of practice by the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme for United Nations. Globally HACCP has been recognized as a critical control point for food safety systems.

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However it is important to note here that the inception of HACCP was made in 1960s for the benefit of astronauts to eat safe food in space and a fact was established that the only way to ensure 100 per cent safe food is to test the food whether it is free from contamination with 100 safety measures. Implementation of HACCP requires appropriate and accurate documentation and submission of documents for obtaining HACCP and ISO 9000/9001 certificate as license and certification to trade at international level.

Some of the important steps are : (1)Appointment HACCP Team (2) Description of product (3) Identify the purpose and use of product (4) A flow diagram which is designed from the stage of manufacture and an order of sequence to the end-consumer. (5) List of potential hazards, analysis and control of hazards. (6) Determination of critical control points (7) Set up of critical limits for CCP (8) Establish a system for monitoring of CCP (9) establish corrective measures (10) Verification procedures (11) Documentation and record keeping.

The cost for implementation of HACCP system varies from product and importantly the emphasis is laid here on controlling critical control points and in preventing, monitoring of the potential hazards. Award of certificate is only issued after a thorough verification, scrutiny of audit, surveillance and also with several recommendations, application is approved and HACCP certificate of licence for international trade is issued by the respective region. 4. Alternatives Identified

From the above discussion, it is quite evident that the process of obtaining license and certification of HACCP requires excessive documentation and a constant pursuasion for controlling CCP by organizations. In order to reduce the process of HACCP system less complicated, FDA has been regularizing the system of HACCP in poultry, meat and seafood products as an important step for food safety program. FDA also introduced warning labeling system for fruit juice packaging as a measure of control for CCP and also in prevention of pathogens. (FDA 946).

Implementation of labelling system as a measure food safety is an appropriate method for HACCP. This system would enable consumers to be aware of packaged products and also to take note of expiry dates in avoiding health risks. 5. Feasibility It is quite an evident fact that the implementation of HACCP system is absolutely necessary for ensuring food safety at industrial level and at livestock level. Whereas it is noticed that except to the fact that the documentation is only painstaking for companies which otherwise the system of HACCP is well accepted and is considered good at national and international level of trading.

For example in open fish market, fishes do not carry any specifications of its weight or any details of fish catch i. e. date, time etc. , The consumer is at great risk in purchasing such fish and also risks health as there is every scope for toxic effects. HACCP in order to prevent such retail level irregularised sale practices, can introduce a wholesale/retail level certification where labeling and packing of products is a must either in groups [prawns/fish/meat/poultry 200gm, 500gm, 1000gm] neatly mentioning date of packing, weight and date of expiry.

This will help both the companies and consumers to make a quick sale and consumption of food without causing any harm to health. 6. Innovative, unique combinations FDA has made a consistent research on HACCP system and there can be no alternative to HACCP whereas new methods of critical control points can be introduced with the technology that is advanced in detecting the freshness of meat products or vegetables and fruits. Computerised systems software can even detect whether a watermelon is fresh or ripe/stale without even cutting the fruit. Technology is much closer in meeting the real life needs.

A combination of technology advanced systems can be introduced for ensuring food safety which clearly lessens the task and practice of HACCP system by companies. 7. Discussion Food sector is a labor intensive industry, which requires skilled, semi-skilled and professionally qualified employees especially who are trained by universities in HACCP certified programs. University of Connecticut offers several HACCP programs which offer sanitation control procedures for processing fish and fishery products. In order to execute efficiency at employee level, companies must consider a heavily and rigorously trained staff to maintain HACCP system.

There are two important aspects in HACCP system. The first is from the side of FDA which must improve documentation for licensing and secondly companies must consider trained staff in order to ensure practice of HACCP system in an orderly manner. A periodical review at both ends must be made irrespective of volume of business that is recorded which would enable both FDA and companies to collectively regularize and make improvements. 8. Provides support for alternatives Labeling system in food also enables FIFO (first-in-first-out) apart from compliance of HACCP regulations.

This will further legalizes the market system for seafood products and renders quality assurance. HACCP programs will encourage new manufacturers with the practice of less complicated system of certification and also in strict adherence to the procedures and maintenance of CCP. Globalisation has paved the way for SME sector and HACCP can draw the advantage from SME sector by introducing easy HACCP certification system while controlling the measures of food safety through repititive audits of samples or an inspection of factories or vessels/processors. 9.

Chooses one alternative for implementation Clearly there can be no alternative to the implementation as such except to the fact that the very purpose of HACCP system is to controlling hazards and risks in food sector which is of a great importance and there can be no alternative system to HACCP whereas new reformations can be introduced in food packing or such other alternative methods of processing food which ensures better quality and packing. 10. Summary and Conclusions Aqua business requires extreme care of sanitation as laid down by FDA regulations.

Whereas for each and every seafood business, a thorough checking up the quality of fish, labeling, categorizing hazard level (freshness, hygiene, color, appearance, size) expiry date of fish should be the modus operandi at all levels for a business manager. Fishery products carry basically three major hazards (1) product safety (2) commercial quality (3) economic fraud. Keeping stock of preservatives such as salt and ice also helps business manager to restore the health of fishes before reaching consumer.

Most of all check points of time of fish also helps a business manager to minimize loss of fish, such as indicating time and date of catching the fish, further recording the date and time of packing which helps to prevent loss and in restoring the health of fish. Also a business manager must be totally self-sufficient with efficient inventory systems of software to record stock of fish purchased and sold and must keep the purchase orders on-hand to make the sale of fishes on a rapid pace.

Sufficient staff and labor must be maintained to inspect the stock and record information on health of fishes at intervals (hourly basis/daily basis/weekly basis). If HACCP system is protecting international trade, at internal system a business manager must be completely aware of sound knowledge of seafood safety management systems The above entire discussion on HACCP concludes that in order to SME sector, much easier and lesser process of HACCP application system is required to be introduced for the benefit of global trade whereas laying penalties for malpractice or fraud business will certainly invite legal provisions.

The primary sector of business of SMEs will be encouraged further strengthening HACCP system. 11. Major conclusions A stock of preserving gadgets, development of systems software for checking the freshness of food, severe controlling points in packing, strict measures and emphasis on employee training, adhering to the procedures, regulations prescribed by FDA, submitting grievances if any to FDA for improvisation of HACCP system are some of the highlights that are required to be noted by food industrial sector.

The present system of HACCP cannot be overlooked for non-compliance of its rules whereas it must be continued and applications must be submitted to FDA to reforms in HACCP system. 12. Recommendations Each country has developed its own HACCP system according to the government and industrial policies and there are problems of irregularised HACCP system which must be dealt with acute measures of governance. Therefore, it is important to identify which area is lacking whether it is in manufacturing, production, processing, distribution or wholesale/retail and begin to introduce new systems of working which is the only solution.

Per the present HACCP system is excellent with its strict measures of control whereas recommendations can be made by food sector to further make the application process less time consuming and award easy certification.

References

An introduction to HACCP (2002) Accessed 30 May 2007 http://www. intracen. org/tdc/Export%20Quality%20Bulletins/EQ71def. pdf Dagmar Engel (2002) Importance of training in understanding and implementing Haccp Accessed 30 May 2007 http://www. ehj-online.com/archive/2000/december2002/december3. html FDA (2004) 946. FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICES: DEVELOPMENT OF HACCP AND LABEL WARNING STATEMENTS FOR JUICES Accessed 30 May 2007 http://ciir. cs. umass. edu/cgi-bin/ua/web_fetch_doc? dataset=ua&db=agendaApril1998&doc_id=946&query=and HACCP Certification program at the food center (2005) Accessed 30 May 2007 http://www. foodcentre. sk. ca/FoodFocus_July05. pdf Seafood safety savvy: HACCP update (1999) Accessed 30 May 2007 http://www. seagrant. uconn. edu/savvy2. pdf

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