Reducing food borne-illnesses with HACCP

May 4, 2018Vikhram Govindarajan
Blog post

Read time < 3 mins

The survival game:

Food forms the pear of essential goods and is the prime factor contributing to our survival. Such an important component of your day should be balanced and rich in nutrients among all its categories. Good food can be a source of great health, invigorating and boost your everyday performance. However, the primary reason for cooking was to rid the food of microbes. As time went by, food safety was given equal importance as much as the taste it had to offer.

Results of unhygienic food:

Through the dark ages, hygiene related deaths are a common occurrence. Plagues were a daily thing and cleanliness became a necessity for survival.According to a research by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases.

haccp

Role of FSMA:

Food safety is critical because everyone eats, and it is mandatory that restaurants serve food that is tasty and safe at the same time. FSMA is touted as the most sweeping reform of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) since the 1950s. FSMA is set to influence the way how food is grown, packed, and processed. The aim here is to eliminate chances of microbial contamination. With the record high in people deaths, the government had to step in. FSMA was the result of FDA.

HACCP Standard:

The HACCP system identifies specific hazards and measures its ability to control and ensure food safety. It performs hazard analysis to establish control over systems.

HACCP can be employed by any company that handles food to identify and eliminate food safety hazards in their product.

This process can be broken down into seven basic principles:

  1. Conduct a Hazard Analysis – Identifying where significant hazards are likely to occur.
  2. Identify Critical Control Points – In this step, control is applied to eliminate the food safety hazards.
  3. Form Critical Limit – Set an acceptable range below which every parameter should exist.
  4. Establish Monitoring Procedures – Establish procedures that monitor if the system is under critical limits.
  5. Organize Corrective Actions – These include steps that prevent deviation from Critical limits and correction procedures to keep it under control.
  6. Create Verification Procedures – Verifies processes excluding food monitoring such as record review, shipment review, instrument calibration and more.
  7. Record Keeping Procedure – Recording information (Primarily proof that the food served is safe)

Food manufactured by restaurants must undergo a thorough check before it is served to the customers. This includes running through a checklist that places importance on hygiene. HACCP is a protocol that ensures the safety of the food you serve. It is uniquely developed for your restaurant with custom regulations. The temperature of the food must be measured during various stages of cooking. Each food has a specific temperature range that it must conform to. HACCP is not attributed to one system. It varies with the restaurant and the food that is being offered.

FSMA implementation is one of the major food-related change to be rolled out by FDA since the better part of the century. HACCP was originally developed as a collaborative effort between NASA and US Army to create safe food for space expeditions. This practice was gradually introduced in other aspects, primarily for food safety. Ever since we started consuming an extensive amount of processed food, the number food-related illness has steadily been on the rise. The only option to eliminate them is by practicing hygiene and following the pre-emptive measures listed out by HACCP. The aim here is to reduce food-borne illnesses and safeguard the lives of fellow countrymen. It is no doubt that when the HACCP norms are diligently followed, there can be a significant reduction in the number of people suffering from food-related sickness.

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