HACCP

Start using custom decision trees in your HACCP plans

Some months ago we were reporting that our HACCP module supports customized risk assessment models. At the launch of the new risk assessment models we also introduced customized decision trees but we haven’t really blogged about it before today.

When developing a HACCP plan one of the most important tasks alongside risk assessment is to determine whether a process step is a CCP or some other kind of control point. This is usually achieved by using a decision tree, which is a simple set of questions that help you determine the correct level of control.

If you are working with HACCP plans you will be very familiar with the CODEX decision tree and the four questions it contains. The trouble with this decision tree is that yes it’s the industry standard and widely accepted, but in truth it is fairly limited and does not seem to work in all situations which has led to all kinds of issues. Some companies have even decided not to use a decision tree of any kind – perhaps because they found the available models were unreliable or gave results that don’t work in practice.

One of the obvious limitations of the old CODEX decision tree is that it can only have two outcomes: Either the step is a CCP or not a CCP. However when you read into food safety standards such as FSSC 22000 or BRC you will learn that there are other kinds of control points such as oPRPs (Operational Pre-requisite Programs), QCPs (Quality Control Points), CPs (Control Points), etc.

So how can you determine whether a step is an oPRP or not with the CODEX model? You can’t. That’s why many food safety standards have their own decision trees and some companies have developed their own versions and implemented them in their HACCP plans.

Customisable decision trees available

We have a facility in Safefood 360° that allows you to build your own decision tree models in the software and embed them into your plans. You can find your models in the HACCP module under the “Models” tab just like you would find your custom risk assessment models.

We have also included some of the most commonly used decision tree models in our register of default models included in the system library.

We hope this feature is useful to our customers! Please let us know if you’ve tried it out and if you have any questions.

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