HACCP: Prevention Rules!
Bacteria, toxins, bits of metal or plastic, and other materials are constant hazards in food product manufacture. Everyone wants to make food that is safe for animals and people, but once a contaminated product is “out the door” it’s out of the manufacturer’s direct control. And the clock starts ticking.
A different count-down took place in the 1960s when NASA had to come up with super safe food for astronauts going into space. A little food poisoning could scrub a whole mission.
NASA took an engineering approach, enlisted the help of a major food company, and developed the methodology that became known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points or HACCP.
Today, HACCP and HACCP-inspired systems are at work in many other types of manufacturing to better assure product safety and quality. In the regulation of the feed and pet food industries, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies a HACCP successor — Hazard Analysis Risk-Based Preventive Control (HARPC) — through administration of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.
D&D strives for the safest possible products, so we are HACCP-certified through the Facilities Certification Institute. This certification requires ongoing evaluation and continuous updating of our operational protocols to prevent biological, chemical, and physical hazards in products we manufacture, store, or transload for customers.
Development of HACCP protocols follows seven basic principles:
- Hazard analysis — finding hazards and noting potential preventive measures in handling, storage, and manufacturing processes
- Critical control points — identifying which points, steps, or procedures in these processes represent opportunities to intervene to reduce or eliminate a hazard
- Critical limits for each critical control point — determining what measurable maximum or minimum value or critical limit applies to each point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce the hazard
- Critical control point monitoring — knowing and recording control point data to understand actual process control
- Corrective actions — how operators or automated systems respond to deviations from control point critical limits
- Verification and validation procedures — how to be sure the HACCP system is working and being able to prove it
- Record keeping — including the hazard analysis and written HACCP plan, and records documenting the monitoring of critical control points, critical limits, verification activities, and the handling of processing deviations
It’s an important job. Our HACCP team consists of quality assurance, production, and management team members — 10 Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals (PCQI) who develop, monitor, and ensure that we follow the detailed, written protocols.
D&D’s HACCP certification dovetails with our certification through Safe Feed/Safe Food with the American Feed Industry Association and the quality assurance program of FAMI-QS.
What HACCP means for D&D customers and vendors
Our annual HACCP certification — along with Safe Feed/Safe Food and FAMI-QS — supports our customers’ own feed or pet food safety and quality programs. D&D’s customers are able to provide additional assurance to their customers about their products’ safety and quality.
Product safety and quality assurance is vital to their business and peace of mind. The health of their customers’ animals depends on the biological, chemical, and physical safety of our products that go into their products.
Nobody wants to hear that product recall clock start ticking, much less a customer complaint.
More “Did You Know?”
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