The core of your Food Safety Management system is your Hazard Analysis-Critical Control Points Plan.
This plan is developed by the food safety team or HACCP team and any necessary outside expertise. Once the preliminary information has been collected, the team will use the information to identify all potential hazards in the ingredients and product.
A hazard can be microbiological, chemical or physical. It is critical that the proper expertise is available to identify potential hazards. If your food safety team is lacking the necessary expertise in any area be sure to bring in that expertise from outside the team or organization.
The hazard identification is done in two steps, first the identification of hazards, then an evaluation of the hazard. The hazard evaluation is a determination of the degree of risk to the user from the identified hazard. Once the hazard is identified and evaluated the team must identify critical control points. These are points where the hazard must be controlled or it will present a risk to the end user.
The team uses information on the process and the hazard to identify each step in the process that is a critical control point.
The primary purpose of a HACCP system is to protect people from food borne illness, but the benefits of the system also extend to the company.